Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The 5As of Obesity Management™

Yesterday, I posted on the 5 core principles of obesity management that evolved out of extensive work with patients, primary care practitioners and obesity experts.

In order to operationalise these principles, they have been integrated into a modification of the well-known 5A framework that has been used to address smoking cessation, improving physical activity and a wide range of other health interventions.

To be applicable to obesity management, the 5As (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) had to be significantly modified, but the principles remain.

In short, the 5As of Obesity Management are:

  • Ask for permission to discuss weight and explore readiness for change.
  • Assess obesity related health risk and potential “root causes” of weight gain.
  • Advise on obesity risks, discuss benefits treatment options.
  • Agree on realistic weight-loss expectations and on a SMART plan to achieve behavioral goals.
  • Assist in addressing drivers and barriers, offer education and resources, refer to provider, and arrange follow-up.

More information for health professionals and ordering information on the 5As of Obesity Management™ can be found here.

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One Response to “The 5As of Obesity Management™”

  1. DeeLeigh says:

    There are a lot of assumptions embedded in these points. For example,

    “Ask for permission to discuss weight and explore readiness for change” assumes that change is needed and appropriate. Shouldn’t the doctor ask the patient about their current habits before making this assumption? Perhaps no change is needed.

    “Assess obesity related health risk and potential “root causes” of weight gain” assumes that the patient has recently gained weight. This is not necessarily the case for people with high BMIs.

    …and the rest of it rides on these assumptions. The first thing that doctors need to do is ask patients about weight history and current habits. Any advice given should be dependant on the answers.

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