Home > Barriers to Obesity Care > Barrier 4: Insufficient Dialogue and Follow-up

Barrier 4:

Barrier 4:

Insufficient dialogue and follow-up

Insufficient dialogue and follow-up

The patient-provider dialogue about weight management is insufficient with few follow-up visits1

The majority of people with obesity (PwO) say they have spoken with a health care professional about their weight within the past five years, but only slightly more than a third say they have discussed a weight loss plan with their health care professional within the past six months.

Differing perceptions around initiation of obesity dialogue

Both people with obesity and health care professionals reported initiating these conversations. About half (47%) of people with obesity say they initiate the conversation, while two-thirds (67%) of health care professionals say they initiate the weight loss dialogue.


Health care professionals are comfortable discussing weight1

Most health care professionals (67%) say they are very or extremely comfortable discussing weight management with their patients, but they cite hurdles to initiating these conversations.


Limited follow-up appointments1

Among people with obesity who discussed their weight with a health care professional, only 24% reported that a weight related follow-up appointment was scheduled. More than 95% of people with obesity have kept or intended to keep the follow-up appointment.

*Out of people with obesity who had a conversation with
their health care professional within the past 5 years

Visit TruthAboutWeight.com to learn how people with obesity can initiate the weight management conversation with health care professionals

Visit RethinkObesity.com to learn how health care professionals can best engage in productive weight management conversations with people with obesity

The bottom line: Insufficient dialogue and follow-up

Insufficient dialogue about weight management and lack of follow-up appointments present a key barrier to chronic care of obesity.

  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.