Role of Health Professionals in Weight
A number of health professionals can play an important role in a weight
loss and management program. Evidence Category B.
randomized controlled trials were reviewed that highlighted the role of the
nutritionists (413, 476), exercise
physiologists and physical education instructors (401, 447), nurses (413), and psychologists (476, 487) in addition to the physician in
providing assessment, treatment, and follow-up during weight loss. As a result,
it is suggested that the health professionals avail themselves of the various
disciplines that offer expertise in dietary counseling, physical activity, and
behavior change. The relationship between the physician and these disciplines
can be a direct, formal one or a more indirect referral. It is important to
emphasize that a positive attitude of support and encouragement from all
professionals is crucial to continuing success (627).
|Recommendation: A weight loss and maintenance
program can be conducted by a practitioner without specialization in weight
loss so long as that person has the requisite interest and knowledge. However,
various health professionals with different expertise are available and helpful
to a practitioner who would like assistance. Evidence Category B.