Skip to main content
safefood, healthy weight for you logo

Welcome to safefood, healthy weight for you

Talking to your doctor

Speaking to your doctor about weight can be daunting as it means sharing personal details about your life, eating habits and body. Obesity is not a lifestyle issue or personal choice.

The oversimplified view that all we must do is ‘Eat less, Move more’ does not address the complex underlying causes of obesity. Obesity is a complex disease influenced by a number of factors, including the environment, access to healthy and affordable food, physical activity, cultural and societal norms, education, genetics and lifestyle choices.

Before the consultation

  • Remember obesity is a disease and it is treatable
  • Book a visit specifically to discuss weight
  • At your appointment tell your doctor you would like to discuss weight. You could start by saying, “I'm here because I am concerned about my weight and how it could be affecting my health”
  • Be prepared – have a list of questions and concerns
  • Consider bringing someone as support if it helps you feel comfortable
  • Be able to tell your doctor about your history of weight change. Is it recent, long-term or has it fluctuated?
  • Take time to think about triggers or factors that influence your weight so you can discuss this
  • Think about the times you have tried to lose weight in the past
  • Bring a list of any medications you are taking
  • Think about why you want to lose weight
  • Have realistic expectations of the consultation

What is a successful consultation for you?

  • You have an open discussion with your doctor about weight
  • You get information from your doctor
  • You share information about your experiences, concerns and expectations in relation to weight
  • Your doctor assesses any complications of obesity you may have
  • You receive reassurance about your health
  • You learn about treatments – safety, effectiveness
  • You learn about medications that may help
  • You may be referred to a specialist clinic
  • You develop a personal weight management strategy

During the consultation

  • Ask about your doctor's comfort discussing weight
  • Explore positive or negative experiences you may have had in the past discussing weight
  • Avoid self-critical, negative and stigmatizing language – your weight is not your fault
  • Discuss words you are comfortable and uncomfortable with using when discussing weight
  • Tell the doctor if you are comfortable having your weight checked
  • Be prepared for a possible blood pressure check, physical examination and blood tests
  • Ask about referral to other services and treatments
  • Make a plan for follow up