Speak to your GP

You don’t need to battle obesity on your own. Talking to a doctor you trust is the first step to getting the weight loss help you need.

Asking for help

It can be hard to ask for help. You’ve probably been battling obesity on your own for a long time. In a recent survey, over 8/10 people with obesity thought losing weight was solely their responsibility1.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

88% of doctors surveyed across 11 countries agree that obesity is a chronic disease. 95% of GPs believe they can help their patients lose weight1.

So how can you get this help?

Step 1:

Find the right GP

It’s important to find the right health care provider. Studies have found that support from your doctor is one key to successful weight loss2. If you don’t feel supported by your GP, it might be time to find a new one.

Step 2:

Prepare for your appointment

If you’ve found a supportive GP, and booked your appointment, write some notes to get prepared.

You will probably need details about your medical history and whether you’re on any medications. You will need to talk about how you’ve tried to lose weight in the past and any health concerns you have. You might also need to talk about your mood, sleep, and eating habits.

To help you prepare, you might like to fill in the Obesity Risk Test and print it out for your GP.

Step 3:

Think about some questions for your doctor

It might help you write some questions to ask your GP. You could even take a pen and paper to write the answers when you get there.
Some questions you may want to ask your doctor include:

  • What should my weight loss goal be?
  • How long will it take me to achieve my goal?
  • What is the most effective way for me to lose weight?
  • What health conditions am I at risk of developing?
  • What type of exercise do you recommend for my body type?
  • What type of food should I be eating more/less of?
  • What should I do to maximise my chances of losing weight and keeping it off?
  • Do I need to see a specialist?
Step 4:

Start the conversation

Sometimes, starting the conversation about losing weight is the hardest part. Talking about your weight can be deeply personal, complicated and even traumatising3.

However, by taking this first step, it could bring you one step closer to success.

1 Caterson I, et al. Gaps to bridge: Misalignment between perception, reality and actions in obesity, Diabetes Obes Metab 2019; 21(8): 1914–24. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31032548/

2 Bennett WL, Wang NY, Gudzune KA, et al. Satisfaction with primary care provider involvement is associated with greater weight loss: Results from the practice-based POWER trial. Patient Educ Couns. 2015;98(9):1099-1105. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2015.05.006 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26026649/

3 Noll JG, Zeller MH, Trickett PK, Putnam FW. Obesity risk for female victims of childhood sexual abuse: a prospective study. Pediatrics. 2007;120(1):e61-e67. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-3058 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17606550/