Patients’ preferred terms for describing their excess weight: discussing obesity in clinical practice

Source: Obesity, 2012, 20 (1), p. 147-150.

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Date of publication: January 2012.

Publication type: Research.

In a nutshell: This study examines the results of a questionnaire which examined patients’ preferred terms for describing their excess weight in clinical consultations. The term “fatness” was rated as significantly more undesirable than all other descriptors, whilst the terms “excess fat”, “large size”, “obesity” and “heaviness” were rated as significantly more undesirable then the remaining terms. Practitioners are advised to avoid these terms when discussing weight with patients, opting for what were found to be more patient-friendly terms such as “weight,” “BMI,” “weight problem,” or “excess weight.”

 Length of publication: 4 pages.

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