Obesity is a leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, likely second only to tobacco-related diseases. However, studies have shown that the formal diagnosis rate is low, at 19.9%. Furthermore, of the patients with a diagnosis of obesity, only 22.6% receive a treatment plan.
Objective: To determine rates of identification and diagnosis of obesity and referral for counselling in an ambulatory general internal medicine practice.
Design: The electronic health records of patients seen and examined for a 6-month period were searched for obesity-related terms (ORTs): obese, overweight, weight-related issues, and elevated body mass index (BMI).
Patients: All patients with a documented BMI of more than 30 kg/m2 who underwent a medical examination in the Division of General Internal Medicine