Disclosure Statement: (i) DEA and EOW received support from the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation for the submitted work; (ii) DEA receives research funding and has received salary support as a medical editor for the not-for-profit (501c) (Informed Medical Decisions Foundation http://www.informedmedicaldecisions.org). DEA has no relationship with any company making products for the treatment of obesity; (iii) the authors' spouses, partners, or children have no financial relationships that may be relevant to the submitted work; and (iv) authors have no nonfinancial interests that may be relevant to the submitted work.
Brief Cutting Edge Report
Weight control practices of severely obese patients who are not seeking bariatric surgery
Article first published online: 5 JUL 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 8, pages 1509–1513, August 2013
How to Cite
Arterburn, D., Westbrook, E. O. and Terrell, A. (2013), Weight control practices of severely obese patients who are not seeking bariatric surgery. Obesity, 21: 1509–1513. doi: 10.1002/oby.20488
Funding/Support: Funding for this project was provided by the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation Inc., Grant Nos. 0077-4 and 0094-1.
- Issue published online: 22 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 5 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 24 APR 2013 03:22AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 4 JAN 2013
We sought to better understand why so few severely obese patients undergo bariatric surgery in the United States.
Design and Methods
We conducted a telephone survey to assess the weight control practices of severely obese patients who were not actively seeking bariatric surgery in Group Health, a health system in Washington State.
Among 295 severely obese participants surveyed (63% response rate), most reported actively working on weight loss (58%), although current use of commercial weight loss programs (10%) and obesity pharmacotherapy (0.1%) was low. Household income and white race were strongly associated with lifetime use of commercial programs, suggesting a possible disparity in use of effective treatment for obesity. Many were interested in learning more about bariatric surgery (49%) and pharmacotherapy (53%), but few had ever discussed surgery (26%) or pharmacotherapy (33%) with their physician. Finally, although only 29% had coverage for bariatric surgery, those with coverage were not more likely to have discussed bariatric surgery with their physician.
Overall, our survey of severely obese patients who are not currently seeking bariatric surgery suggests that interest in obesity treatments is high, coverage and receipt of treatment is low, and that there is a potential socioeconomic disparity related to the use of commercial programs.