Home > Barriers to Obesity Care > Barrier 3: Inadequate Diagnosis

Barrier 3:

Barrier 3:

Inadequate diagnosis

Inadequate diagnosis

Many people with obesity (PwO) have not received a formal diagnosis of obesity1

Although all ACTION Study participants actually had obesity based on self-reported height and weight, only slightly more than half report having received a formal diagnosis of the disease. When it comes to self-perception, half consider themselves as being overweight while the other half consider themselves as having obesity.


Health care professionals inconsistently record diagnosis of obesity1


The majority of health care professionals reported that they record “overweight” or “obesity” in the medical record.

Bottom line: Inadequate diagnosis

The first step to addressing a disease is recognizing and diagnosing it. Thus, the lack of formal obesity diagnoses, as well as lack of clarity when obesity is discussed or diagnosed, is a barrier to obesity management.

  1. Kaplan LM, Golden A, Jinnett K, et al. Perceptions of Barriers to Effective Obesity Care: Results from the National ACTION Study. Obesity. 2017. doi:10.1002/oby.22054..