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How to you tell someone they need to lose weight?

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Replies

  • happyauntie2015
    happyauntie2015 Posts: 282 Member
    I remember at my pediatrician to school shots at age 5 the dr saying you need to loose 10 lbs your not in normal range. I remember leaving the office and going to McDonald's. What I don't remember is the Dr helping my overweight mom help me! Skip ahead to 19 and my first pregnancy hubby and I went to obgyn for sonogram and Dr said no heart beat and as long as your this fat you will never had children....Skip ahead many years (no children put on another 100 lbs) new Dr started back in November. Dr says I'm not doing this to shame you I want to help you and you already know your overweight with high blood pressure, diabetes, and many other medical issues that can be helped by weight loss. He also said I'd like you to see a dietician so you can learn about portions and carbs and fats and proteins and how they affect your body.....Now it took me a bit to become serious I thought it was to late to reverse damage.

    Help those you break the news to. We know we are fat and I'm not saying everyone will accept the help but those that are ready most likely will! I really didn't understand portions and such but I'm learning! Just be ready to help and offer it!
  • FreyasRebirth
    FreyasRebirth Posts: 514 Member
    At a minimum, maybe having pamphlets for MyPlate available? I know they have quite a few printables on their webpage. Something generic like this might prompt discussion:https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/printablematerials/mini_poster.pdf
  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,285 Member
    cathipa wrote: »
    I work in the medical field and at least 50% of my patients are overweight if not obese. It is a crisis in the US and most of the Westernized countries. We counsel them on smoking and alcohol, but what about weight? What is your reaction to someone or a medical practitioner telling you to lose weight? Most of the responses I get are eye rolls (and I'm very delicate about how I address it), but what would cause someone to wake up and understand that its more than just aesthetics and more about health in general. The majority of the ailments I see can be directly correlated with being overweight or obese. Any thoughts? Any one who has had this happen and actually take the advice and be a success story? TIA

    I'm in Canada. And I've developed some health issues and have other ones in my family that were, if not caused by obesity, definitely not helped by it. My father and younger sister have both had bariatric surgery. When my parents visited me in September, my dad urged me to get onto that list, too. I refused. Well, I blew him off, telling him I'd think about it.

    The thing is, at that point, I had somehow contracted cellulitus. While that was being treated, I also developed lymphedema, which led to having nurses come daily to change the dressings, 7 courses of antibiotics (not counting the IV I got in the emergency room when I was diagnosed with cellulitus). (2 courses to treat the cellulitus and because the lymphedema improved slightly on the first course, but didn't respond as well to the second. At that point, they cultured the wound and put me on one course of a different antibiotic. That didn't work and they still didn't have the lab results back, so they tried a third one. That one didn't work either, but by then they had the results and it took 3 courses of the right antibiotic to finally get the wound to heal).

    Meanwhile, I was referred to a vascular surgeon, who told me that my leg veins were refluxed. And that while compression stockings are the main treatment, the best thing I could do was relieve some of the pressure on my lower body by losing weight; something my doctor agreed with. A prior GP had told me to join Weight Watchers. Thing is, while I did at the time, lost weight, and gained it all back plus more, at this point I'm unemployed. I told my doctor that I couldn't afford WW and he told me the obvious: that it's possible to lose weight without them. I found MFP when I was Googling looking for an online calorie counter and joined up.

    I have to say that I'm stubborn and laissez-faire enough that, had I been told to lose weight when I didn't have health issues, I probably wouldn't have listened. I'm stubborn and, while I'm usually smart, I can be stupid about certain things. Like my weight, sigh. But I did need to hear that my weight was making an already bad situation worse and that I could do something about it.
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,564 Member
    What does "in the medical field mean"? Are you a doctor? I don't understand why a doctor would need to ask people on a forum how to tell people to lose weight, that's your job.

    This was my question. Most replies are assuming a scenario involving their doctor. Would a person accept advice as readily from a nurse or some other professional? I like the point made by @HotAshMess . I think it would be best received by someone you have an ongoing relationship with.
  • Boland_D
    Boland_D Posts: 86 Member
    Most people already know they need to lose weight. But I understand working in the medical field it's your job to tell them.
    Just lay down the facts, but don't be rude. I think it helps to ask questions about their health including diet and activity so you can better tell them what they can do to get healthy.
    I remember being told as a 13 year old kid "you need to stop drinking so much soda, you're 50 lbs overweight"
    I never had soda growing up and he came off very cold. I simply closed up and didn't listen to a word he said because he didn't even know why I was overnight and was just blabbing.

    But I KNEW I needed to lose weight. I just didn't know how to at the time. Coming from a family in the south where almost everyone was overweight I had no clue about nutrition.
    Give them advice on how to lose the weight and tell them the health risks. They'll lose the weight and get healthy when they're ready and in their own time. Nothing you can do about that.

    I didn't listen to a word he said if I'm being honest. I lost weight a few years later when I was sick of being fat.
  • DrifterBear
    DrifterBear Posts: 265 Member
    cathipa wrote: »
    What does "in the medical field mean"? Are you a doctor? I don't understand why a doctor would need to ask people on a forum how to tell people to lose weight, that's your job.

    Let's call it continuing education. I'm a PA and no we (as well as MDs/DOs/NPs) are taught minimal information on weight loss let alone how to counsel someone. Can someone ask a question to see how it may have encouraged others to change? Just trying to be a better practitioner.

    Got it. First, I'd say it's the same as any other health issue that requires some change from the patient. Quitting smoking, overweight, alcohol abuse, high BP, cholesterol, etc. You should bring it up, even if you do every time and nothing changes. Tell them the condition and the implications and be prepared to offer support for how they go about implementing the change. Be straightforward but compassionate. Explain this is the indicator you're overweight (weight, BMI, etc), these are the implications of the condition, and here's what you can do about it when you're ready.

    Second, even though you're a doctor, you probably know these things require a great deal of desire from the individual. If they don't want to change, all you can do is continue pointing out the condition and suggesting they make some changes. They may be hearing it from friends and family, and it's almost certainly not news to them either. You however are uniquely suited to offer solutions that may benefit them when and if THEY become interested in making a change.
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,564 Member
    I had been in to see our local ARNP several times for gastrointestinal & joint issues. Received referrals for expensive testing and prescriptions for symptoms. After having lost 50+ lbs, I was there for something else and mentioned to her that the weight loss had completely cleared up many of my issues. She was so excited and said something to the effect of, "I figured that would help a lot!" Well, she never mentioned it to me!
  • zdyb23456
    zdyb23456 Posts: 1,706 Member
    edited February 2017
    I don't know, maybe because their dr / nurse is overweight/obese too? Most doctors and nurses I've come across are overweight/obese themselves. It's rare I see a trim/fit doctor.

    For me, bad numbers would shame me into making changes. A random (one-time) high bp reading freaked me out enough to cut back on caffeine and sodium.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    edited February 2017
    cathipa wrote: »
    What does "in the medical field mean"? Are you a doctor? I don't understand why a doctor would need to ask people on a forum how to tell people to lose weight, that's your job.

    Let's call it continuing education. I'm a PA and no we (as well as MDs/DOs/NPs) are taught minimal information on weight loss let alone how to counsel someone. Can someone ask a question to see how it may have encouraged others to change? Just trying to be a better practitioner.

    As a PA, I would consider it a job requirement to mention potential medical issues to the patient, even if not the reason for the visit. Suppose if someone came to see you for strep throat and during the exam you see something that appears to be the start of skin cancer, wouldn't you suggest they get it looked at? Same for weight issues.

    I would think if the person comes to the practice on a regular basis, their weights from the previous visits would be in their charts. Might change the message depending on any changes you see.

    You are a valued and respected professional, people should at least take your advice into consideration..
  • Treece68
    Treece68 Posts: 780 Member
    I had a doctor tell me at the tinder age of 14 that no matter what I would never be skinny so I was like what is the point. Then he gave me a diet plan that was basically the cabbage soup diet. What 14 year old wants to do that? Ahhhh 1996.
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,564 Member
    edited February 2017
    I understand the responses about not wanting weight brought up as an issue at every single doctor's visit, and basically agree. If you are sick with strep throat and feel lousy, not the time for a heart to heart about your weight, IMO. But don't some people only see the doctor when they're sick or have an emergency? What then?
  • Tacklewasher
    Tacklewasher Posts: 7,122 Member
    try2again wrote: »
    I understand the responses about not wanting weight brought up as an issue at every single doctor's visit, and basically agree. If you are sick with strep throat and feel lousy, not the time for a heart to heart about your weight, IMO. But don't some people only see the doctor when they're sick or have an emergency? What then?

    It's one thing for the doctor to talk about your weight in a general sense, but when it has nothing to do with the ailment you are there for, don't try to suggest it does. Make it 2 separate conversations. But don't make it sound like you are dismissing why the patient has come in just because they need to lose weight.

    I found, that if I had an issue and went to the clinic, that is what they focused on. But if I went to the doctor with an earache, he ignored the earache and just talked about the weight. And I left with an earache and some *kitten* prescription for something from the health food store that I just tossed in the trash.
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 1,731 Member
    My Dr, apparently was obese at one time, since she has an article on the wall from a mag with her picture in it talking about some sort of band surgery. She also has info & phone number to some kind of weight loss help. The most she ever focused on, no matter what was wrong with me, was my weight & A1C labs. I was very glad to see her again after loosing 20 lbs & my A1C was lower too. Next time i see her I'm planing to be 40lbs less
  • The only advice I could have is to be honest, do not sound judgmental, give them the tools to help themselves. Let them know you are there to help them not to judge them. You need to be honest with them, but it depends if they are ready to accept this advice or not?
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,239 Member
    I recognize that, as a doctor or nurse, you know all to well that overweight people risk having all sorts of weight-related problems, including musculoskeletal issues when they try to exercise. So, from that standpoint, how could a provided not bring it up in an exam?

    Still, IMHO, the message depends more on the listener than the messenger. Although I expect that some docs have really muffed the delivery in some cases, if the patient is ready to hear it, it could change their life.

    Maybe they're just playing the numbers to keep bringing it up.
  • epiphany29
    epiphany29 Posts: 122 Member
    It's hard. I am a vet and a good portion of my patients are obese as well. Most of the time I think a lot of it goes in one ear and out the other. I try to tell them it costs $300 for a bottle of insulin for their 20 lb cat when it gets Diabetes. The cat weights 22 lbs the next time I see it. You have to say it. You have to say what it contributes to, what they might have now that may diminish with it and let them do what they will. Nothing will change no matter what you say if they don't want to hear it.