The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
Trends in Professional Advice to Lose Weight Among Obese Adults, 1994 to 2000
Version of Record online: 1 JUL 2005
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 20, Issue 9, pages 814–818, September 2005
How to Cite
Jackson, J. E., Doescher, M. P., Saver, B. G. and Hart, L. G. (2005), Trends in Professional Advice to Lose Weight Among Obese Adults, 1994 to 2000. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 20: 814–818. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.0172.x
- Issue online: 19 AUG 2005
- Version of Record online: 1 JUL 2005
- Received for publication October 8, 2004 and in revised form March 17, 2005 Accepted for publication March 31, 2005
- physician behavior;
- health care delivery;
- weight management;
- socioeconomic status
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.