Trends in professional advice to lose weight among obese adults, 1994 to 2000
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CONTEXT: Obesity is a fast-growing threat to public health in the U.S., but information on trends in professional advice to lose weight is limited.
OBJECTIVE: We studied whether rising obesity prevalence in the U.S. was accompanied by an increasing trend in professional advice to lose weight among obese adults.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: We used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a cross-sectional prevalence study, from 1994 (n= 10,705), 1996 (n=13,800), 1998 (n=18,816), and 2000 (n=26,454) to examine changes in advice reported by obese adults seen for primary care.
MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported advice from a health care professional to lose weight.
RESULTS: From 1994 to 2000, the proportion of obese persons receiving advice to lose weight fell from 44.0% to 40.0%. Among obese persons not graduating from high school, advice declined from 41.4% to 31.8%; and for those with annual household incomes below $25,000, advice dropped from 44.3% to 38.1%. In contrast, the prevalence of advice among obese persons with a college degree or in the highest income group remained relatively stable and high (>45%) over the study period.
CONCLUSIONS: Disparities in professional advice to lose weight associated with income and educational attainment increased from 1994 to 2000. There is a need for mechanisms that allow health care professionals to devote sufficient attention to weight control and to link with evidence-based weight loss interventions, especially those that target groups most at risk for obesity.
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- Trends in professional advice to lose weight among obese adults, 1994 to 2000
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 20, Issue 9 , pp 814-818
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- physician behavior
- health care delivery
- weight management
- socioeconomic status
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash, USA
- 2. Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Box 354696, 98195-4696, Seattle, WA
- 3. WWAMI Rural Health Research Center, Seattle, Wash, USA