World Obesity Day

Amanda Lyons

24/10/2017 12:00:00 AM

Many Australians are failing to heed the healthcare warnings on World Obesity Day, with almost two thirds of adults and one quarter of children categorised as overweight or obese. 

World Obesity Day
World Obesity Day

These statistics are evident in general practice every day. GPs from around Australia identified obesity as a key health concern for the future in the RACGP’s General practice: Health of the nation 2017 report.
‘Most of the patients that walk through our consulting rooms will have obesity or complications of obesity, and their numbers are projected to rise,’ Dr Georgia Rigas, Chair of the RACGP Specific Interests Obesity Management network, told newsGP.
‘The key message of World Obesity Day is treat obesity now, so we can avoid the complications later.’
The potential complications of obesity range from infertility and arthritis to diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Early intervention is vital, but weight concerns can be difficult to raise in consults.
‘We need to be opening the dialogue in a respectful and non-judgemental manner and asking patients, “Does your weight affect you in your activities and daily living? Are you aware of how your weight impacts on your diabetes or your joints?”’ she said.
‘That might open the opportunity to discuss how even a modest 5–10% of weight loss will improve their health and quality of life.’
The RACGP Specific Interests Obesity Management network launched its inaugural Walk to Support World Obesity Day in Melbourne on Sunday 8 October. The network plans to host this event annually to raise awareness of the health issues associated with obesity and the key role GPs play in caring for patients with obesity.
The RACGP provides a number of resources to assist GPs in the treatment and management of patients with overweight and obesity:

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