June 2007 MedBytes: Obesity

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This month's Texas Medicine cover story delves into the obesity epidemic plaguing Texas. Resources to aid physicians in educating and treating their overweight and obese patients are available online. The following Web sites have the tools you need to help win the fight against obesity.

TexasMedical Association
TMA's Web site offers physicians an opportunity to learn best practices in treating obese patients from other skilled health care professionals. Informative slides and handouts, based on presentations from the TexMed 2005 Obesity Summit, are available. To access the PDFs, visit  www.texmed.org, choose Public Health and Science from the menu, click on Physician Resources, and scroll down the list to select Obesity. The resources are helpful in assessing obesity and its associated health risks; reviewing strategies for promoting weight loss; outlining methods health professionals can use to address the problem of overweight and obesity at school and community levels; and formulating proper treatment plans with physical activities, diet and behavioral modifications, and medications.

American  Academy of Pediatrics
As more children become obese and overweight, caring for them is now a dominant part of many pediatricians' practices. The Overweight and Obesity section of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Web site,  www.aap.org/obesity, is easy to use and features a comprehensive Physician Education page. Eight PowerPoint obesity presentations developed by physicians can be viewed online. And to aid in determining the proper coding for obesity-related health care services, the Obesity Coding Fact Sheet is a handy resource. The Physician Education page also includes links to more information about campaigns and initiatives supported by AAP. For an outline of international, federal, state, and community initiatives related to obesity, click on Advocacy at the top of the page. A Wellness Policy Fact Sheet is also available in this section.

American Medical Association
The American Medical Association's Web site,  www.ama-assn.org, is robust and can be overwhelming when attempting to navigate it. Follow these steps to reach the Roadmaps for Clinical Practice series: From the home page, select AMA Agenda, and click on Advocacy Efforts. From there, click on Improving the Health of the Public, then choose Promoting Healthy Lifestyles. The Roadmaps for Clinical Practice series can be accessed on this page. You can download or order "Assessment and Management of Adult Obesity," 10 booklets that advise physicians on addressing adult obesity in the primary care setting. The series covers topics such as clinical considerations, evaluating patients, making treatment decisions, dietary management, and resources for physicians and patients.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site,  www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa, features three sections with resources for health care professionals: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Overweight and Obesity. The Nutrition Resources for Health Professionals page has a brief introduction to dietary information and contains links to weight management research, food safety, and community health initiatives. The Physical Activity Resources for Health Professionals page also has a brief introduction but contains links to U.S. physical activity statistics and a community guide to preventive services. After reading through basic information on the Overweight and Obesity page, click on Weight Management Research to Practice Series. The series encompasses three PDFs that examine the value of fruits and vegetables in a diet, the effect of increased portion sizes, and the increased risk of becoming overweight from drinking high-sugar beverages.

The Weight-control Information Network
The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) is an information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases that focuses on weight control, obesity, physical activity, and related nutritional issues. Visit  www.win.niddk.nih.gov, and choose For Health Care Professionals under the Publications heading. Download PDF versions of literature on Gastrointestinal Surgery for Severe Obesity, Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery, Medical Care for Obese Patients, Prescription Medications for the Treatment of Obesity, and other topics. Publications are also available in Spanish and can be ordered by clicking on Order Forms on the home page. For additional tools, you can link to the National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus Web site,  medlineplus.gov, or the US Department of Health and Human Services site,  www.hhs.gov, from any page on the WIN site.

MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest toTexas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, email Crystal Conde. Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.  

June 2007 Texas Medicine Contents
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