Speaking Up About Obesity

September 22, 2020 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED

I’m excited to partner again with Med-IQ to help raise awareness about obesity and the misconceptions surrounding it. At the end of my post, please take a few minutes to complete the survey linked below. I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk to write about obesity, a chronic disease. This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

Speaking Up About Obesity

I’ve learned a lot during the many years I’ve dealt with obesity. First and foremost, that no one can fight my battles, make lifestyle changes or advocate for my needs but me. Sure, there’s a never-ending stream of information and influence from media, medicine and society in general. But not all of it is helpful to me — and much of it isn’t helpful to anyone.

I’ve also learned a lot about speaking up for myself to those treating my obesity. Between having conversations with experts, reading educational materials and sharing my own stories, I’ve gained so much valuable knowledge — and I once again want to share it with you.

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Here are a few statistics from a recent survey about the challenges people with obesity face when working with healthcare providers.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

•  Two-thirds of those surveyed aren’t feeling heard.
•  77% of all respondents felt that their doctors had not adequately explored their weight gain/weight loss history.

SILENCED BY SHAME

•  Of all who took the survey, a third are hesitant to bring up the subject.
•  41% of those who are hesitant say they don’t bring up the subject with their doctors because they are too embarrassed.
•  26% just aren’t sure how to start the conversation.

WHAT’S BEST FOR ME?

In spite of these challenges, people with obesity do have thoughts on how to contribute to their health.

When asked to choose a weight loss approach they thought would help them keep weight off:
•  88% picked dietary and lifestyle changes
•  52% chose behavioral changes
•  34% chose prescribed medications
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Believe it or not, medical providers are also nervous to bring up the topic of weight and obesity with their patients. Due to the stigma around obesity in our society, doctors are acutely aware of how embarrassing or painful addressing weight my be for a patient. They also don’t want to harm or disservice their patients.

Okay, so everyone is embarrassed, reluctant, unsure how to start talking about obesity. But as I mentioned above, it’s up to you to advocate for your own health. It’s up to you to start your own weight journey on a healthier path.

Med-IQ once again connected us with some experts in the field of obesity and weight loss. Here are their tips on taking that first step, choosing a doctor!

HOW TO CHOOSE A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER

•  Look for doctors who will partner with you, not just give you orders or advice.
•  Seek out healthcare providers that show an interest in your weight loss/weight gain history.
•  Choose a medical professional that will remain a part of your journey, even when they’re not directly providing care for weight management.
•  Find providers that will recommend/refer you to comprehensive care: including options of dietary and lifestyle modification, psychological counseling, and medical or surgical treatments.

The bottom line is that none of us is alone when it comes to addressing obesity and weight management. But it is up to us to seek out those that will give us the most and best support along the way.
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WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Even if you took the last survey, you should do this one, too. Why?
 This survey is shorter than the last one!
 Links to additional resources are provided within the survey.
 Once again, your input will provide important feedback to Med-IQ, who will use it to better educate healthcare professionals on what patients struggle with, what their needs are, and what approaches to weight-related health are most effective.
•  BONUS: you could win one of ten $100 VISA gift cards!.

quarantine obesity survey

Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with obesity and your care team, which will help us develop future educational initiatives.

WIN A $100 VISA GIFT CARD!

Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win one of ten $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize and to send a follow-up survey as part of this same initiative.

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ABOUT MED-IQ
Med-IQ is an accredited medical education company that provides top-notch educational experiences for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.

ABOUT THE EXPERTS
Donna Ryan, MD: President, World Obesity Federation

Christopher D. Still, Professor of Medicine, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Medicine Director, Center for Nutrition and Weight Management and Director, Geisinger Obesity Institute

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