The Physician’s Role in Weight Management

Patients, Physicians, and Weight Loss.


According to the National Commission for Quality Assurance (NCQA), physicians should screen overweight or obese patients using the body mass index (BMI) scale. This screening is generally completed with a simple wall chart or electronic medial record (EMR) system within most physician practices. However, even if physicians do screen a patients BMI, most practices do little with this information.


Common practice is to advise the patient to lose weight.  Considering nearly 65% of adults are over weight 33% are obese, only 12% of patients are advised to lose weight. 


 When a patient is advised to lose weight, often the physician provides closed-ended messages.

  • You need to exercise more.

  • Stop eating at fast-food restaurants.

  • Reduce your calories.

Although the advice is correct, is this really helpful? How can the physician provide a more specific plan for a patient’s weight management needs? The use of indirect calorimetry using a device like the Medgem Resting Metabolic Rate Analyzer can be an effective tool in establishing a patient’s caloric needs. Contact Health & Fitness Network at 800-743-3328 for more information on this product.