Although widely recognized as a chronic disease that requires long-term, structured, and multidisciplinary management, obesity remains largely underdiagnosed and undertreated. The prevalence of obesity continues to increase dramatically, with the highest rates seen in the United States. Despite the availability of several clinical practice guidelines, published studies suggest that health care professionals (HCPs) infrequently and inconsistently follow guideline recommendations. Barriers to HCP participation in obesity management are likely to inhibit obesity counseling in primary care. Improving HCP obesity-related practices and counseling is important. This article discusses current practices, barriers to effective obesity management, and recommendations to improve HCP obesity management and counseling, based on findings from a PubMed search and clinical experience. The aim of the article is to share best-practice strategies for engaging patients.
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