Obesity and osteopathic patients

The Lancet has recently published a large-scale study of 5.24 million UK adults, looking into the association of body mass index and certain cancers. They concluded that several cancers could be attributable to excess weight.

Obesity is a health issue and perhaps should be considered by osteopaths as part of their overall health care discussion with patients. While osteopaths may typically be concerned with the obvious mechanical challenges for joints, obesity is associated with overall increased mortality, diabetes, cancers, and raised blood pressure.

To start your discussion with an overweight patient, you may want to consider the acronym “ACTS”:

  • Ask if your patient would like to discuss their weight
  • Concerns, do they have any
  • Take a dietary history
  • Special concerns or needs

For more on broaching this question with patients, please download our PDF of a presentation on patient obesity by doctors Leedham-Green, Wylie, Takeda and Sugden from King’s College London.