How Should I Approach the Topic of Weight Management with My Healthcare Provider?

Are you openly communicating with your healthcare provider about weight? Try asking some of these questions.

The role of a healthcare provider (HCP) is to accompany you on your journey toward improved health. Using tools of research, knowledge and special training, HCP’s across all specialties have a responsibility to provide care that is science-based and geared toward their patients’ unique health goals. Still, a great number of us struggle to talk about weight with our HCP’s.

Choosing a Healthcare Provider

Despite our discomfort, talking about weight with a trusted health professional is crucial to weight management. Selecting an appropriate HCP to meet your needs is a very important part of this process. It’s also not something to take lightly because healthcare is deeply personal.

If you have not yet discovered a healthcare provider that meets your specific needs, consider using the Obesity Care Provider Locator powered by the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) – producer of the Your Weight Matters Campaign. This Locator allows you to search for obesity and/or weight management specialists in your area by entering your zip code and desired specialty. Use this tool to initiate a valuable relationship with a healthcare provider that makes you feel comfortable, encouraged and equipped to tackle your individual goals.

Approaching the Topic

Once you have established care with a trusted healthcare provider, you can start the conversation about weight and health. Begin by expressing your health concerns and communicating your desired outcomes. What limitations are you currently facing? How might these limitations be affecting your weight? Next, walk your HCP through your medical history and be open to discussing different factors that might be relevant. It’s important that your HCP has a complete and up-to-date understanding of your health background before treatment has begun.

Once you have completed the above steps, your HCP should talk to you about different options that are available. At this time, the conversation about weight and health should already have begun. Congratulations! You took the next important step toward improved health. For some, this is the hardest part. Now, you have a responsibility to do your research and consider the options that are presented to you. Being an informed patient is half the battle! Take your time with this step and remember to ask your HCP any questions you may have.

Establish a Relationship

Now that you have sought healthcare and have started the conversation about weight and its impact on health, you have a responsibility to follow-up with your care. Schedule future appointments with your HCP and commit to them. Continue open and honest communication so your HCP is always up-to-date on the complete picture of your health. If they have provided a treatment plan, stick to that plan under medical supervision until otherwise directed. Sometimes treatment will feel like it’s hit or miss, but that’s okay. It’s a journey.

As you work toward your unique health goals, remember that the right HCP is there to help you succeed. If you do not feel as though you are taking steps forward in your health journey, don’t be afraid to continue searching for the right HCP. This relationship is one that should make you feel hopeful and empowered. Finally, remember that health is an ongoing journey. You will always face challenges, but keep on trying! And use your HCP as a helping hand along the way.

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