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Table 2 Summary of recommendations

From: ACTION-IO as a platform to understand differences in perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of people with obesity and physicians across countries – the Israeli experience

Organizational body Action Outcome measures Supporting Israeli ACTION-IO data
Government • Acknowledge obesity as a disease • Gain recognition as a significant public health hazard
• Diagnosis may increase referral rates to specialists and/or follow-up appointments
• 70% of PwO and 95% of HCPs agreed that obesity is a chronic disease
• 81% of PwO thought that weight loss was their sole responsibility; 44% reported this as a reason for not discussing weight with an HCP
• Only 44% of PwO were diagnosed with obesity; 17% had a follow-up appointment
Health medical organization • Build a network of multidisciplinary obesity treatment clinics that include obesity medicine physicians, dietitians, psychosocial services, and physical exercise counseling • Create a multidisciplinary support system for people with obesity • Most PwO (87%) and HCPs (83%) do not believe the healthcare system and society in general currently meet the needs of PwO
• Only 23% of PwO felt that the healthcare system was a good resource for weight loss
• Most PwO (80%) and HCPs (90%) felt that treatment of obesity should be a team effort between different medical professionals
• Prioritize people with obesity for vaccination against viral infections • Reduce the risk of complications for a high-risk group • Approximately 3/4 of PwO have ≥1 comorbidity
• Create a campaign for the public to promote awareness that obesity is a biological disease, not a lifestyle choice • Educate the public on the etiology of obesity and the obesogenic environment • Only 49% of PwO or HCPs considered the genetic factors underlying obesity to be a barrier to weight loss
Medical schools • Incorporate obesity medicine teaching hours into the pre-clinical (biological and genetic basis) and the clinical (approach to treatment) years • Reduce time gap between people struggling with excess weight and seeking medical help
• Provide tailored obesity care
• Increase obesity diagnosis, follow-up appointments, and referrals
• Improve weight loss outcomes for PwO
• There was a mean delay of 9 years between the time PwO began struggling with excess weight or obesity and the first weight management discussion with their HCP
• Among PwO (68%) who had discussed their weight with an HCP in the past 5 years, 59% considered the discussions to be a little helpful or not at all helpful
• 51% of PwO had negative feelings following their most recent weight management discussion with their HCP
• Misperception among HCPs that patients have little interest in or motivation for losing weight (71 and 70%, respectively) were the main reasons for HCPs not initiating weight management discussions
Israel Association for the Study of Obesity • Build a fellowship program for obesity medicine, approved by the Israeli Medical Association
• Establish “obesity medicine schools” for physicians and dietitians
• Draft obesity management guidelines and a position paper
• Work with stakeholders to promote the recognition of obesity as a disease
• Work with representatives of PwO on anti-stigma campaigns
  1. Abbreviations: HCP, healthcare professional; PwO, people with obesity