If you have a visit with your healthcare provider coming up, do you plan to talk about weight and its impact on your health? If so, do you know how to approach the topic?
Weight can be an overly sensitive topic for some. In fact, it deters many people from making healthcare appointments or following through with their prescribed care plan. Not sure how to bring it up and ask for productive feedback? Let’s explore how.
Bringing it Up
Sometimes, the first mention of weight and health can be the hardest. Here are some example comments you can make to get the conversation rolling:
- I’ve been struggling with my weight but I know it matters to my health. Can we discuss what some of my weight-loss options are?
- I’m concerned that my weight may be affecting other parts of my health. Can we talk about what’s going on and what I can do to help?
- I want to work on managing my weight, but I’m seeking some additional guidance. Do you have any advice or options I can consider?
Communicate Weight-loss Goals
Your healthcare provider will likely find it helpful if you communicate your specific goals. Knowing this information can help them prescribe a care plan that suits your individual needs.
For example, some of your goals may be to:
- Alleviate chronic pain in your back or joints
- Have more energy for daily life activities
- Reduce the impact of obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or osteoarthritis
Provide a History
Your healthcare provider will also likely ask for your medical history and a description of your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid of this question! It should only be intended to learn more about you as a patient and what you need in terms of healthcare.
If your provider makes assumptions based off of anything other than the information you provide, don’t hesitate to let them know that they are displaying bias, and you’d appreciate a different approach to treatment. You are entitled to care that you are comfortable with.
Try to communicate your medical history and lifestyle habits that relate to:
- Any existing health condition(s) or genetic risks
- Your general activity level/exercise routine
- Your nutrition habits and considerations
- Any current or past medications
- Any major lifestyle changes or significant events
Encouraging patients to talk to their healthcare provider about weight is the reason the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) created the Your Weight Matters Campaign. It’s a crucial first step in taking charge of your weight and health that makes a world of difference.
However, we understand that initiating this conversation might seem overwhelming. It’s our hope that the Your Weight Matters Campaign equips you with all the tools and resources you need to get started. Remember that addressing your weight is not necessarily about conquering a number on the scale. It’s about striving toward improved health that benefits your total wellness!