Awareness of body weight status among family medicine clinic patients.
ABSTRACT a) determine the prevalence of accurate perceptions of body weight status; b) assess awareness of risk and willingness to change; c) assess physicians' documentation of a weight problem.
cross-sectional survey of 356 clinic patients.
patient questionnaire; data extracted from charts.
BMI averaged 34 for females, 31 for males. Twenty-five percent were overweight, 35% obese and 22% morbidly obese. Fifty-seven percent underestimated their weight status. Most obese and morbidly obese patients recognized the increased risk and wanted to change. Only the overweight patients who were accurate considered themselves at risk and wanted to change. Only 17% of office charts included the weight problem in the cumulative problem list.
Despite the high prevalence of inaccurate perception of weight status, most patients were aware of risk and willing to change, except for the overweight patients. This subgroup would be a good target for an intervention to increase awareness.