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.


*Among those 71% who have had a weight loss conversation with their HCP in the past 5 years


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..