Managing obesity: A survey of attitudes and practices among Israeli primary care physicians

Y. Fogelman, S. Vinker, J. Lachter, A. Biderman, B. Itzhak, E. Kitai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    109 Scopus citations


    OBJECTIVES: To document and assess Israeli family physicians' (FPs) knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding the management of overweight and obesity. METHODS: Anonymous questionnaires were completed by 510 family physicians (82% compliance rate). The questionnaires were distributed in various continuous medical education sites of FPs in Israel. The measures included attitudes to and resources of knowledge on weight management, views regarding the prescription of drugs, approaches to and strategies recommended for weight loss. RESULTS: In all, 73% of FPs viewed weight management as important and reported that they often treated cases of overweight and obesity, including for patients without concomitant risk factors. The medical advice most frequently offered is: increase physical activity, decrease number of total calories (eat less) and consultation with a dietitian (95, 81 and 58% respectively). However, most responders (72%) believed that they had limited efficacy in treating obesity and considered themselves not well prepared by medical school to treat overweight patients. Some 60% reported feeling that they have insufficient knowledge regarding nutritional issues. Regarding pharmacotherapy for treating obesity, only 66% knew the drugs' prescription indications. However, the vast majority (87%) knew about the gradual increase of weight after stopping drug treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge gaps and ambivalent attitudes toward obesity management were found. More education focusing on obesity, from medical school to post-graduate learning, seems warranted based on these findings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1393-1397
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002


    • Obesity
    • Pharmacotherapy
    • Primary care physician
    • Weight management

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Nutrition and Dietetics


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