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Talk to your HCP about your obesity management and find the plan that’s right for you and your body
Your Weight Can’t Wait. Talking to a qualified healthcare professional (HCP) can help you to find the plan that’s right for you, and your body.
Starting a conversation with your doctor can open up doors to treatments and therapies you might not have known about or otherwise considered.
Ginny is a Senior Art director in a media advertising agency and she also lives with obesity. Based on her experience, she suggests that you ask your doctor these five questions to start your journey:
1. I want to lose weight. What kind of treatment would you recommend to me, and why?
This is an important question, because no single approach works for everyone. This means that the types of tests, evaluations, and treatments will vary depending on your circumstances, health issues, and previous treatments.
2. What other treatment should I consider, and why?
An obesity specialist will offer a number of different therapies, sometimes in combination. The goal is to pick the treatments that best address the reasons for your weight gain, like your biology, psychology and behaviour. Some options can include healthy eating, increased physical activity, anti-obesity medication or bariatric surgery. An ideal setup might be to team a medical doctor with a registered dietitian and a behavioural health specialist.
3. What do you see as realistic goals and how will these goals be supported?
Your doctor should help you to identify meaningful and realistic goals and tailor an individualized goal / target for you. In general, a 5-10% over 6 months of weight loss is a realistic goal and will bring about tremendous health benefits.1 But it’s equally important to have support during the process. Your healthcare team might include several different specialists. Dieticians, psychologists and exercise physiologists can all be helpful, depending on your situation. Local and online support groups are also a great way to exchange experiences and stay motivated.
4. How many of your patients reach and remain at their target weight?
Asking this question will tell you two things: the success rate of their approach to treating obesity, and whether they keep track of their patients during their treatment. This is important because you want a doctor that invests in long-term treatment.
5. What happens if this plan does not work?
Obesity is a complex chronic disease. To treat it successfully you need an individual treatment plan that fits your specific needs. This plan should include realistic goals, regular evaluations and a detailed program for you to follow. Depending on your progress, the treatment plan might need to be adjusted or just fine tuned. You need to know that your doctor has more than one approach – and more than one tool – to help you succeed.
“If a person requires medications or surgery to achieve the necessary weight loss for optimal health, it does not mean they have failed to “do it on their own”. Many biological factors can work against one to achieve or maintain weight loss.
It is NOT your weight, but your health that we are ultimately treating!”
Dr Tham Kwang Wei, President of Singapore Association for the Study of Obesity
“Some people can lose weight with lifestyle changes, but it’s often difficult to keep it up for the long term. Patients who receive timely medical support might not only lose weight but also effectively reduce their risk of other associated conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes as well.
Obesity should be taken as seriously as any disease and its management needs to be prioritised for long-term health and societal benefits.”
Dr Vivien Lim, Endocrinologist at Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore
Link to weight management experts and clinics
Click here to find a list of clinics and experts who can help you to manage your weight in a way that’s right for you, and your body.
Talk to a healthcare professional about your obesity management and find the plan that’s right for you and your body. Your Weight Can’t Wait.
- Durrer Schutz D., Busetto L, Dicker D, et al., European Practical and Patient-Centred Guidelines for Adult Obesity
Management in Primary Care. Obesity Facts 2019;12:40-66. doi: 10.1159/000496183