Few of the more than 90 million Americans with obesity are seeking and receiving long-term obesity care, according to new data from the Awareness, Care and Treatment In Obesity Management (ACTION) Study published in the journal Obesity.
Among the notable findings is that of the 71% of people with obesity who say they have spoken with a healthcare professional (HCP) about their weight in the past 5 years, only 55% report having been given a diagnosis of obesity and less than a quarter (24%) were offered follow-up care for this disease.
Designed to identify key barriers to care from the perspective of people with obesity, HCPs and employers, the results of the ACTION Study, according to multi-disciplinary steering committee members who led the initiative, can guide collaborative action to improve care, education and support for those who live with obesity.
Conducted with more than 3,500 participants spanning all three target groups, the ACTION Study reveals 5 key barriers to comprehensive care:
♦ People with obesity engage in several serious weight loss attempts but only a few are able to maintain the achieved weight loss
♦ Despite recognition of obesity as a disease, most people with obesity consider weight loss to be completely their own responsibility, which may prevent them from seeking help from their HCP
♦ Nearly half of people with obesity have not been given a formal diagnosis of obesity
♦ The patient-provider dialogue about weight management is insufficient with limited follow-up
♦ Employer wellness programmes are not meeting the needs of people with obesity.