Tackling the subject of weight with patients: the difficult conversation
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Tackling the subject of weight with patients: the difficult conversation

Jacquie Lavin Head of nutrition and Research, Slimming World, Alfreton, Derbyshire
Carolyn Pallister Dietitian and public health manager, Slimming World, Alfreton, Derbyshire
Sue Gibson Partnerships development manager, Slimming World, Alfreton, Derbyshire
Jenny Caven Head of PR and public affairs, Slimming World, Alfreton, Derbyshire

Jacquie Lavin and colleagues offer advice on opening a discussion about weight and explain why it is so important

Being overweight carries with it a range of health risks, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnoea, musculoskeletal problems and cancer. Weight is often a highly charged emotional subject, but it is one health professionals increasingly need to raise with patients. The conversation should explore how patients feel about their weight, their understanding of how weight may affect their health, their emotional and mental wellbeing, what they may have tried to do about their weight and how committed they are to making lifestyle changes. By recognising that past experiences and struggles with weight and failure to succeed have a profound effect on commitment, health professionals can begin to have helpful conversations about weight management and behaviour change.

Primary Health Care. 25, 2, 18-22. doi: 10.7748/phc.25.2.18.e949



Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

All the authors work for Slimming World, a commercial weight management service provider

Received: 04 August 2014

Accepted: 27 August 2014

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