Queensland is experiencing a growing problem.
Queensland is experiencing a growing problem.

Latest obesity-fighting tactic you’ll see at the GP

PATIENTS will be routinely weighed and measured at the GP as part of the Queensland Government's no-nonsense fight against raging obesity.

The Australian Medical Association Queensland is pushing for the back-to-basics return to the tape measure and scales - tools that the majority of doctors have been uncom­fortable using in recent years.

In the middle of the state's biggest ever public health crisis, The Medical Journal of Australia reported that doctors did not weigh three out of four patients.

The 2018-19 Queensland Health Budget outlines the plan to launch the Healthy ­Futures Commission - an initiative to help turn around the horror numbers that show that 63 per cent of adults and one-quarter of children are obese or overweight.

"There should be no problem with children or adults standing on scales at the doctors. It should simply be the routine, not an exception, and doctors would know how to approach this professionally," new AMAQ president Dr Dilip Dhupelia told The Courier-Mail.

"The medical guidelines should be adhered to, as they provide us with a road map of what is best practice in tackling obesity," he said.

Currently, the National Health and Medical Research Council's clinical guidelines include the measuring of waist circumferences and calculating BMI in adults, and in children doctors should record percentile charts.

"We need to address both diet and exercise," Dr Dhupelia said.

The president is pushing for the Federal Government to recognise obesity as a chronic condition. This move would allow patients to access refundable weight-related treatments from their GPs, dietitians and allied health workers.

This, in turn, would help prevent patients from developing obesity-related chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, reducing the burden on the health system.

Currently, obesity is costing the economy an estimated $8 billion a year.


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