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History of weight development and weight loss attempts

Learn how to conduct a patient interview to obtain a history of weight development and weight loss attempts

History of weight development:

How stable has your weight been over your adult life? Be guided by the answer and consider:

  • When did the weight gain first start?
  • Did this coincide with any event or change in your life? (Be careful not to ask leading questions here).
  • What has been your heaviest weight? This is a key question as it may inform you of the patient’s weight “set point” (the weight at which body may fight to maintain).
  • Since adulthood (from the age of ~17 years) what has been your lowest weight?
  • How long have you been the weight you are today? (This question is useful later, because if weight is stable, current energy expenditure must equal current energy intake).
  • How do you feel about your current weight? This may indicate motivation to change and also the extent of any internalised weight bias (listen to the words that they are using to describe their feelings).

History of weight loss attempts:

Have you attempted to lose weight before? If so:

  • What is the most weight you have lost?
  • What has been the most successful approach for you?
  • What hasn’t worked for you and why?
  • Have you regained any of that weight and over what period of time? If so, what do you think contributed to the weight regain for you?
These questions are important when you are considering what might be some of the barriers and challenges to weight loss as well as patient preferences for any agreed interventions or approaches
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EduWeight: Weight Management for Adult Patients with Chronic Disease

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