Michigan has one of the highest rates of obesity in the nation, with 32 percent of the adult population and 17 percent of the youth population considered clinically obese. According to AAFP, if the number of obese Americans continues to increase at current rates, half of all Americans will be obese by 2020, and obesity-related medical expenses will reach $344 billion, approximately 21 percent of all health care spending.
Family physicians play a critical role as patient educators on the merits of healthy lifestyles and the MAFP has consistently supported efforts at the state level to reverse this alarming trend, including the Governor's Healthy Michigan Plan. MAFP encourages both physicians and patients who may face challenges with obesity to take the Michigan Healthier Tomorrow pledge.
You can help educate your patients on nutrition basics and discuss how dietary supplements may or may not be recommended by using free tools found on FamilyDoctor.org. Recently updated, these tools are offered in English and Spanish. The tools are supplemented with reliable, trustworthy information found on FamilyDoctor.org. Materials that assist patients in maintaining a healthy diet, understanding the nutritional information of foods consumed, and how to get the majority of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients a body needs from a healthy variety of foods is available. With more people taking dietary supplements, the tools guide patients to their physician and to FamilyDoctor.org to receive trusted health information.
In partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MAFP offers free, evidence-based resources on childhood obesity prevention as the CDC reports 12.5 million children (ages 2-19) are obese in the U.S. With these resources, you and your patients can work together to decide which treatment option is best.
The following are additional resources and information to assist you in your efforts to help create a healthier Michigan and reduce obesity rates.
Additional Information From the AAFP
- AAFP Policy on Obesity and Overweight
- AAFP's Diagnosis and Management of Obesity E-Book
- AAFP Americans In Motion - Healthy Interventions (AIM-HI) initiative