Get the Obesity Conversation Started
With U.S. adults getting heavier each decade and with 35.7% of adults considered obese by the Centers for Disease Control, ANPF convened a roundtable of experts to discuss the obesity crisis and to recommend tools for nurse practitioners.
The result—recently published as a comprehensive white paper and linked to by the International Council of Nurses—suggests that there is a huge window of opportunity for nurse practitioners that could positively impact millions of lives.
Nurse practitioners can simply initiate sensitive, long-term conversations about healthy lifestyle changes with their obese patients.
Previous research shows that the input of health care providers can have a huge impact on a patient’s motivation to lose weight. But the stigma and emotion associated with obesity often prevents both nurse practitioners and patients from addressing this issue.
Previous research also shows that conversations about obesity are most effective if addressed in clinical language, if seen as lifelong rather than episodic, and if focused on the individual patient’s circumstances and motivations. The ANPF white paper recommends that nurse practitioners educate themselves so that they can meet patients armed with information about local lifestyle options.
“Effective treatment of obesity moves away from seeing it as an episodic problem with a one-size fits all solution,” says Kay Todd, CEO of ANPF. “We hope that nurse practitioners find some of the tools that they will need in this white paper and through additional education.”
Nurse practitioners should review the white paper for evidence-based suggestions and information. ANPF is grateful to the experts who participated in the roundtable and edited the white paper. An unrestricted grant from VIVUS, Inc. funded this ANPF roundtable and white paper.