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J Reprod Med. 2001 Nov;46(11):941-6.

Obstetrician-gynecologists' views on the health risks of obesity.

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Department of Research, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 409 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA.



To assess the knowledge and opinions of obstetrician-gynecologists concerning the health risks of obesity and the importance of weight management of patients to clinical practice.


A questionnaire survey covering physician and patient demography, disease risk related to obesity, relevance of weight management to patient's health, and self-assessments of medical education and training was sent to the 418 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) fellows who constitute the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network and to 700 ACOG fellows selected at random.


Five hundred twenty-five surveys were returned (47.0% response rate). Membership in the network was not a significant factor regarding responses; therefore, the data were pooled. Respondents estimated that 20.6 +/- 0.5% of their patients were obese and that a further 35.9 +/- 0.8% were overweight. The respondents were knowledgeable concerning health risks associated with obesity, and a majority considered obesity to be a major health concern that should be treated. Weight management was considered an important or very important part of practice by 81.5% of respondents. Almost half the respondents (45.5%) thought that the importance of weight management would increase. More than one of three responding physicians (36.4%) had prescribed weight loss medications in the previous year. Most responding physicians did not consider medical school or residency to be sources of information on these issues.


Obstetrician-gynecologists think that managing the weight of their patients is part of their clinical responsibilities but do not consider their training in medical school and residency on these topics to be adequate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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