How to Approach Obesity
A predominant theme in research and practice today is obesity, which is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide in all ages. As a future nurse practitioner:
How would you approach or discuss the topic of obesity and diet with your adult or geriatric patients?
What are the possible health consequences of obesity and what factors need to be taken into consideration when treating the obese patient who also has multiple comorbidities (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol)?
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How to Approach Obesity
Most patients are usually very reluctant to open up and discuss their related health issues. Therefore it is essential to be careful with such patients for them to feel safe and open up. To achieve this scenario, I will first address the key health concerns of the patient then allow them to open up about other issues that are health-related and may be affecting their physical or emotional well-being, such as personal, marital and work-related issues (Chooi et al., 2019). This will enable the patient to open up if they feel more respected. Before inviting the patient to address their weight issues, I will highlight the health risks associated with being obesity and overweight (Popkin et al., 2020). I will ask the patient if they are willing to discuss their general well-being, including weight.
Health Consequences of Obesity
Obesity is a significant risk factor for high blood pressure, commonly referred to as hypertension. A considerable percentage of hypertension cases are linked to obesity. Additionally, hypertension exacerbates the occurrence of other diseases. Additionally, a study by the American Heart Association considers obesity a significant risk for heart diseases (Blüher, 2019). Individuals suffering from severe obesity are at increased risk of coronary artery diseases. This implies that people with obesity have a higher risk of a heart attack (Blüher, 2019). Lastly, obesity may lead to other health complications such as Gallbladder disease, Osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties, low quality of life, and body pain, coupled with a problem with physical functioning.
Factors to Consider
The factors to consider when treating an obese patient with multiple comorbidities are the patient’s weight, waist circumference, recorded BMI, presence of risk factors, family history, race and ethnicity, age, sex, eating and physical activity habits and place of work, play, and worship.
Blüher, M. (2019). Obesity: global epidemiology and pathogenesis. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 15(5), 288-298. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-019-0176-8
Chooi, Y. C., Ding, C., & Magkos, F. (2019). The epidemiology of obesity. Metabolism, 92, 6-10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002604951830194X
Popkin, B. M., Du, S., Green, W. D., Beck, M. A., Algaith, T., Herbst, C. H., … & Shekar, M. (2020). Individuals with Obesity and COVID-19: A global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships. Obesity Reviews, 21(11), e13128. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/obr.13128