Have general practitioners abandoned obesity? NHS adviser reveals most doctors ‘ignore’ patients’ weight issues

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EXCLUSIVE: Have GPs given up the war on obesity? NHS adviser reveals most doctors ‘ignore’ patients’ weight issues

  • Prof Aveyard said GPs routinely failed to refer obese people for help
  • The GP said doctors are ‘neglecting’ the one in four of us who are obese in the UK
  • Funding has been introduced for doctors to refer obese people to weight loss courses

Britain is failing in the war on obesity, a senior NHS adviser has warned, as the majority of doctors are ‘blinding to’ patients’ weight problems.

Many family doctors weigh their patients every year and do nothing more, says Professor Paul Aveyard, who advises NHS England on obesity.

If a GP allowed a sick person to leave their practice without medication or treatment, that doctor could be prosecuted.

But, says Prof Aveyard, GPs routinely fail to refer obese people for help, dooming thousands of people to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke brain later.

Britain is failing in the war on obesity, a top NHS adviser has warned, as the majority of doctors are ‘ignoring’ patients’ weight issues

The obesity prevention expert and GP, who has also advised the Department of Health and Social Care, wrote a highly critical article in the British Journal of General Practice about the ‘negligence’ of doctors at the regard to one in four of us who is obese.

He says, “When a preventative interaction occurs, clinicians typically advise people to change their behavior rather than offering support to achieve it.”

Doctors often fail to intervene, the professor’s article says, even when they see overweight patients for conditions such as type 2 diabetes, which are largely caused by weight.

The expert, a professor of behavioral medicine at the University of Oxford, told the Daily Mail: ‘When it comes to high blood pressure doctors automatically prescribe pills, but when it comes to obesity most ignore it.

“We see this for all kinds of doctors, including cardiologists, because it’s not their habit to intervene when people are overweight – it doesn’t float their boat because it’s not an exciting and prestigious treatment. .”

Obesity prevention expert and GP Professor Aveyard, who has also advised the Department of Health and Social Care, wrote a highly critical article in the British Journal of General Practice on the 'negligence' of doctors to the one in four of us who is obese

Obesity prevention expert and GP Professor Aveyard, who has also advised the Department of Health and Social Care, wrote a highly critical article in the British Journal of General Practice on the ‘negligence’ of doctors to the one in four of us who is obese

He added: “There is good evidence that putting people on a meal replacement diet, with portion control, can be very helpful in losing weight and reducing their risk of serious disease.”

More funding was introduced last year for doctors who refer obese people to weight loss courses.

Professor Martin Marshall, president of the Royal College of GPs, said GPs were ‘highly trained’ to have sensitive conversations, but standard ten-minute appointments were not long enough to cover patients’ needs. patients.

He also called for a ‘recruitment and retention strategy’ to increase the number of GPs and a society-wide approach to the root causes of obesity, including the cost of living crisis.

Dr Richard Van Mellaerts, of the British Medical Association, said the few specialist services to which obese patients can be referred are often fully booked.

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