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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 400-403

Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of public sector primary health care physicians of rural north karnataka towards obesity management

1 Department of Biochemistry, KLE University's, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Medicine, KLE University's, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Manjunath S Somannavar
Department of Biochemistry, Karnataka Lingayat Education University's, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum - 590 010, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.148126

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Introduction: Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus (DM), and hypertension (HTN). In an era of rapidly growing prevalence of obesity, it is important to explore the current knowledge, attitude, and practices of primary care physicians. Materials and Methods: Study participants were medical officers (MOs) of primary health centers in three districts of North Karnataka. The questionnaire was developed by a review of literature in the field and validated with five participants for scope, length, and clarity. Results/Discussion: Of the 102 participants, only 15% were aware about the burden of obesity in India. HTN, DM, and CVD were indicated as comorbidities by 73, 78, and 60 participants, respectively. Only 25 and 12 participants indicated appropriate body mass index (BMI) cut-off values for overweight and obesity diagnosis. Of the 102 participants, 54 were not aware of the guidelines for obesity management. Practices and attitudes of the participants were encouraging. Nearly all of them felt that the adults with BMI within the healthy range should be encouraged to maintain their weight and, three-fourth of them agreed that most overweight persons should be treated for weight loss and small weight loss can achieve major medical benefit. However, nearly half of the participants' responses were stereotypical as they felt only obese and overweight with comorbidities should be treated for weight loss. Two-thirds of them use BMI to diagnose overweight/obese and nearly all of them advice their patients to increase physical activity and restrict fat. Most of the participants were advising their patients to restrict sugar intake, increase fruits and vegetable consumption, reduce red meat, and avoid alcohol consumption. Conclusion: Present study exposed the lack of knowledge regarding obesity. However, practices and attitudes of the participants were promising. There is a need of in-service training to MOs to further improve their knowledge and practices towards management of obesity.

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