Many health care providers struggle with if- and how-to discuss weight with their pediatric patients. This study used one-on-one interviews with primary care providers (n = 20) to better understand their: (1) perception of risks associated with talking about weight with pediatric patients, (2) commitment to adhering to best practices of pediatric weight management, and (3) approaches to mitigate perceived risks. Providers felt concerned that discussing weight with children during clinic visits may have unintended negative impacts. Despite perceived risks, providers continued regular BMI screening and weight-focused conversations, but took care with regard to language and approach with the goal of mitigating perceived risks. Findings suggest that pediatric primary care providers perceive that engaging in weight-related discussions with their patients has the potential to lead to negative, unintended consequences. Future research is needed to understand if weight-focused conversations should be avoided altogether or if there are approaches that can effectively mitigate risks.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by grant funding from the Minnesota Association for Family Physicians (PI: Guo and Pavek). Further, Dr. Loth’s time was supported by a grant number K23-HD090324-01A1 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (PI: Katie Loth). Content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Minnesota Association for Family Physicians or the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, it should be noted that the completion of this research would not have been possible without the hard work of Drs. Pavek, Guo, and Ngaw.
© The Author(s) 2021.
- physician education
- primary care
- weight management
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article