Recently we published the results from the Australian people with obesity and doctors who took part in the ACTION IO study.
Key findings were as follows:
1) There is on average, a delay of almost 9 years from when a person with obesity first starts to struggle with their weight and when they have an initial discussion with a doctor about their weight.
During this time their health and ability to carry out various activities of daily living might deteriorate, and sometimes irreversible damage occurs.
It is better to have the conversation early with your doctor-before these health complications occur.
2) Two -thirds of people surveyed did not perceive themselves as having obesity A lack of awareness that a person has obesity and the impact it can have on a person's health, might be a barrier contributing to the delay in seeking medical help and treatment.
3) Only 31% of people with obesity and 51% of doctors surveyed recognised how much genetic factors contribute to the development of obesity. Numerous studies of identical and non-identical twins (some raised together; some raised apart eg adoption) have shown that genetics plays a significant role in whether or not a person with develop obesity.
We don't choose our parents and we can't change our genes, but we can put strategies in place to:
a) preventing worsening of existing overweight or obesity
b) manage/ treat obesity and its associated health problems [note currently no cure for obesity exists]
c) intervene early by optimising the health of a couple who have overweight/ obesity before they conceive and manage the pregnancy and the infant's early life well, to reduce the risk of switching on the obesity genes for the next generation (i.e. the child).
So I encourage you to speak with a doctor who understands obesity and is willing to work with you in this chronic condition."
Click here to know more.