Interesting weight loss perception

The Australian Doctor online flashed an interesting headline recently titled “10 weight-loss products pharmacists push most”.
Other than the offensive tone of the actual headline, it serves a timely reminder that weight loss is not solved by simply selling a product.

So, in spite of this belittling attack, let’s look at what is implied here.
Mind you, I would contend that for the last fifty years or so, medicine has been prescribing a range of drugs for weight loss, many of which have lead to dreadful addiction results.
Medicine’s involvement in weight loss is very poor.
Anecdotal evidence shows an unwillingness to discuss this issue with their patients.
Frankly, we are just as unwilling.

Weight loss in pharmacies is an easy target for threatened modalities to focus on. Something, with little or no evidence, that is advertised on TV, will invariably end up in a window display in many pharmacies. This outward show of being over-qualified salespeople does not help our cause.

Is that what we want? If weight loss was that easy, we might be in a better space coping with the ever-increasing diseases of civilization.

I continue to be amazed that a person who is overweight has no support strategies within which an individualised, realistic outcome might be attained, and maintained.

However, once that person has been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver, osteoarthritis etc, a range of heavily subsidised options become available, superbly available to medical practitioners and funded by Government.

Why can’t we be more professional in this area?

We have meal replacements, but before you rely on that, try one yourself. See how difficult it is to implement. Understand the frustrations after ten days or so.

You might also take a look at your own health. We can’t be passionate about weight loss if we don’t “walk the talk”. By that I mean, understanding the role of food choices, exercise regimes and support services.

As a profession, we’ve tried a number of times to do it well.

Sadly, we don’t have a history of sticking with it. We rely on trained staff to do the hard stuff, and in the eyes of the consumer, that’s simply not what they want. They want you – the expert, the professional, the one who knows stuff!

Complementary medicines do play a supportive role, and in spite of Australian Doctor dismissing the available evidence, it is there. It doesn’t require a window to get solutions, just communication (the ability to listen), empathy (understanding frustrations) , and knowledge (having options that work).

So, let’s turn this weak attack on our integrity into a positive. Liase with others in your area who operate in this sphere like nutritionists, dieticians, naturopaths, and perhaps the GP. Develop a cooperative strategy that recognises the expertise of your health colleagues.

Refer, discuss, and most importantly….listen to patients as they express their frustrations. If they want to do body sculpting after losing weight, why are you stopping them? Listen why they want to do it and it might be better for their overall self-esteem.

The future is ours…….do we continue to sell a product or two, or do we embrace the ongoing health of our patients?

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