Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Most Physicians Aren't Prepared To Deal With Obesity Epidemic, Researcher Argues

Date:
November 21, 2007
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
The soaring obesity rates across the globe have been called the most critical challenge to public health of the 21st century. A researcher argues that most physicians are not adequately prepared to deal with this obesity epidemic.

The soaring obesity rates across the globe have been called the most critical challenge to public health of the 21st century. A top university researcher argues that most physicians are not adequately prepared to deal with this obesity epidemic.

In an article published in Canadian Family Physician, University of Alberta researcher Tim Caulfield examines the vital role physicians play in managing and identifying obesity and highlights the obstacles these physicians must overcome when treating obese patients. Caulfield, who is the Canada Research Chair in Health Law at the U of A and professor and research director in public health sciences, is recognized as one of the foremost experts in health law research in Canada.

In North America, physicians have a legal obligation to provide their patients with a reasonable standard of care, says Caulfield. By law, overweight and obese patients are entitled to the same level of care as the general public; however, there are reasons to believe this patient population is not, in some circumstances, receiving optimal care and advice.

Available data indicates that many physicians do not have the skills and knowledge to address obesity. According to Caulfield, this could contribute to substandard care in the way obesity is handled and in the way obese patients are treated.

"Family physicians play a crucial role in identifying and managing obesity," says Caulfield. "As the rates of obesity become more prevalent, we need to recognize and become aware of the issues that can reduce liability and improve the care of these patients."

Caulfield notes that earlier studies have found that most physicians (83 per cent) were less likely to perform physical examinations on reluctant obese patients, and 17 per cent admitted reluctance to perform pelvic exams on obese patients. One study found that one-fourth of physicians think that they are not at all or only slightly competent recommending treatment for obese patients.

As obesity rises, Caulfield notes, so will the number of malpractice suits. "By identifying the legal issues that may come with treating these patients, it will become easier for family physicians to address weight management."

Steps should be taken, according to Caulfield, to ensure family physicians have the skills, tools and resources necessary to satisfy their legal duties and to optimize their role in managing this complex public health concern.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Most Physicians Aren't Prepared To Deal With Obesity Epidemic, Researcher Argues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071120130156.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2007, November 21). Most Physicians Aren't Prepared To Deal With Obesity Epidemic, Researcher Argues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071120130156.htm
University of Alberta. "Most Physicians Aren't Prepared To Deal With Obesity Epidemic, Researcher Argues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071120130156.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins