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South Med J. 2013 Jun;106(6):337-42. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e31829680ff.

Receptivity to weight management interventions among hospitalized obese patients: an untapped opportunity.

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  • 1Divisions of Hospital and General Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



Hospitalized obese patients rarely receive counseling about weight loss. Specific patient preferences regarding inpatient weight loss interventions have not been systematically investigated. The objective of the study was to describe the preferences of hospitalized obese patients for weight loss interventions and to identify predictors of receptivity to such offerings.


A total of 204 individuals with a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m (mean BMI 38.1 kg/m) admitted to the hospital medicine service in spring 2011 were surveyed at bedside for this cross-sectional study. The study population was predominantly white (67%) and women (62%), and their mean age was 55 years.


Although 82% expressed a desire for providers to discuss weight loss during hospitalization, nearly all (92%) of the patients reported that providers did not address this subject. Logistic regression analysis tested demographic variables and obesity-related health beliefs as predictors of receptivity to inpatient weight loss interventions. The recognition of their own obesity and belief that weight loss would prolong life were significantly associated with receptivity to specific interventions, over and above objectively measured BMI in adjusted models.


Receptivity to inpatient weight loss interventions varies considerably among hospitalized obese patients. The most important determinants that predict the level of receptivity were related to weight-related beliefs and perceptions. Future inpatient weight loss interventions could be targeted to patients with truthful health beliefs and perceptions about obesity.

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