on the increase worldwide
and is a major global public health problem.In an increasingly obesogenic environment, it’s important that
health professionals are equipped to identify and address obesity issues within
their clinical practice. As part of
the Weight Care Project, the aim of this
study was to explore the obesity-related communication issues for primary care and community-based health
professionals. The study
design was a quantitative survey, which was completed by 382 primary care and community-based health
professionals across Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland working with
adults and children. Key findings included that the majority of the
health professionals (86%) recognized
having a role in giving obesity advice, acknowledged that in clinical practice
communication of obesity messages is both complex and challenging (81%), and reported difficulty in sensitively addressing
obesity issues (27%). The
health professionals surveyed stated that they communicate obesity messages
to their patients using a range of different
methods, mainly verbally to individuals, leaflets and factsheets. Numerous
benefits of communicating obesity messages were reported; the main one was interacting with patients to build trust.
Identified barriers to commu
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