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Novo Nordisk presents findings of obesity care study

5 November 2015  •  Author: Victoria White

Initial data from Novo Nordisk’s Awareness, Care & Treatment In Obesity Management (ACTION) study, the first US study to investigate barriers to obesity management, will be presented at ObesityWeek 2015.

people with obesity

Results from the study highlight a general lack of understanding of obesity as a disease and its impact on the body, with the majority of people with obesity (75%) indicating that they perceive themselves as “healthy”, although nearly three-quarters had obesity-related comorbidities.

 “People with obesity often struggle to successfully manage their weight and obtain the help they need to maintain weight loss and improve their health,” said Joseph Nadglowski, president of the Obesity Action Coalition, a non-profit coalition helping individuals affected by obesity. “The findings from the ACTION study indicate that the challenges many people with obesity face may stem from their misperception that obesity is a lifestyle issue that can be overcome simply by eating less and exercising more, instead of a complex disease that requires a comprehensive care approach.”

Other findings from this early qualitative phase of the ACTION study highlight differences in perception between people with obesity and healthcare professionals. While people with obesity and healthcare professionals considered obesity a combination of disease and lifestyle, their primary emphasis differed widely—the majority of people with obesity (65%) considered it to be primarily a lifestyle issue, while the majority of healthcare professionals (88%) considered it to be a disease.

ACTION aims to gain a better understanding of barriers that prevent effective obesity care

 “These variances in perception of obesity and its causes may be one reason why people with obesity and clinicians are not engaging in the necessary conversations that could lead to solution-based strategies to address the long-term management of obesity as a chronic disease and weight-related health problems. The aim of ACTION is to gain a better understanding of all the barriers that prevent effective obesity care and to devise successful approaches to overcome modifiable barriers,” said Dr Nikhil Dhurandhar, member of the Steering Committee for the ACTION study.

Additional disparities between people with obesity and healthcare professionals related to perceptions of key barriers to weight management were identified in this initial qualitative phase of the ACTION study. The disparities relate to food habits, social relationships, and limited understanding of how to lose weight.

The initial qualitative findings of the ACTION study indicate that multiple barriers prevent effective care; this will be further investigated on a larger scale in the subsequent phase of quantitative research.

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