Weight Can’t Wait: A Guide to Discussing Obesity and Organizing Treatment in the Primary Care Setting

Christine Gallagher, Amelia Corl, William H. Dietz, Bellinda Schoof, Christina Hester, Eric D. Peterson, Lisa Gables, Michele Lentz, Monica Agarwal, Margaret Crump, Diane Padden, Robert Kushner, Fatima Cody Stanford, Danielle Casanova, Elizabeth Ciemins, John Scott, Joe Northup, Robert Lash, Meredith Dyer, Joe NadglowskiPatty Nece, Ted Kyle, Craig Primack, Deborah Horn, Kathleen Morton, Ginger Winston, Scott Kahan, Donna Ryan, Tony Comuzzie, Scott Butsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The objective of this study was to develop a simple and practical guide for discussing and managing obesity in primary care settings. Methods: This study convened representatives from 12 primary care and obesity specialty organizations for a series of roundtable meetings to discuss the key components of obesity treatment in primary care. Attendees identified the need for a guide for primary care providers that outlined the key steps for discussing obesity with patients and managing their care while recognizing the significant time constraints on such provider/patient encounters. Results: Prevailing themes from the roundtable sessions suggested that the key components of addressing obesity in primary care settings are obtaining patient permission, addressing weight bias, providing a diagnosis, and emphasizing shared decision-making. A modified "6A" framework with the steps “Ask,” “Assess,” “Advise,” “Agree,” “Assist,” and “Arrange” was deemed appropriate to organize the process of weight management in primary care. An algorithm was developed to provide a script for the patient/provider encounter. Conclusions: The expert panel developed a short, accessible, practical, and informative guide for obesity management by primary care clinicians. Efforts are under way to disseminate the guide to primary care providers through the 11 participating organizations that have endorsed it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-824
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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