I was reading an article in USA Today about the obesity epidemic and how many doctors are afraid to address this topic in the office. The emotional impact this discussion can have on the patient-doctor relationship can be devastating. People don't like to be labeled as "obese" or "fat", but it is imperative that physicians address the topic in the most compassionate way. I believe that this responsibility starts with the pediatrician, as studies show that overweight children will most likely remain overweight in adulthood. With nearly 2/3 of adult Americans being overweight, the number only seems to be growing, and the article discusses adding the BMI (Body Mass Index) to the normal set of screening tools like blood pressure, pulse, etc. There is no doubt that some people are genetically predisposed to being overweight, but we must educate the public about the ways to eat healthy and exercise. There are simply too many health risks and problems that accompany obesity.
Yesterday, a real nice Paulding County gal came in for her procedure. When got on the scales, the meter tipped all the way to the right. Now, for medication purposes and to avoid breaking the procedure table of course, it is necessary to have an accurate weight for each patient. As patient safety is our number one priority . I could not, however, imagine the embarrassment when the physician had the patient rolled over to the loading dock to have her properly weighed.