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Obesity and Weight Management in Israel
Managing Obesity Attitudes and Practices Among Primary Care Physicians
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Obesity & Weight Management - Israel

Managing obesity: a survey of attitudes and practices among Israeli primary care physicians

Weight Loss Study Aim
To document and assess Israeli family physicians' (FPs) knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding the management of overweight and obesity.

Weight Loss Study Method
Anonymous questionnaires were completed by 510 family physicians (82 percent compliance rate). The questionnaires were distributed in various continuous medical education sites of FPs in Israel. The measures included attitudes to and resources of knowledge on weight management, views regarding the prescription of drugs, approaches to and strategies recommended for weight loss.

Weight Loss Study Results
In all, 73 percent of FPs viewed weight management as important and reported that they often treated cases of overweight and obesity, including for patients without concomitant risk factors. The medical advice most frequently offered is: increase physical activity, decrease number of total calories (eat less) and consultation with a dietitian (95, 81 and 58 percent respectively). However, most responders (72 percent) believed that they had limited efficacy in treating obesity and considered themselves not well prepared by medical school to treat overweight patients. Some 60 percent reported feeling that they have insufficient knowledge regarding nutritional issues. Regarding pharmacotherapy for treating obesity, only 66 percent knew the drugs' prescription indications. However, the vast majority (87 percent) knew about the gradual increase of weight after stopping drug treatment.

Weight Loss Study Conclusion
Knowledge gaps and ambivalent attitudes toward obesity management were found. More education focusing on obesity, from medical school to post-graduate learning, seems warranted based on these findings.

Source: International Journal of Obesity

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