Starting a Conversation with Your Doctor About Weight Loss


Maybe you’ve struggled to lose weight and keep it off, and you know how dangerous extra pounds can be to your health. Still, many of us who have access to professional healthcare have a hard time talking about weight loss with our doctors.

Deepa Sannidhi, MD, an obesity and lifestyle medicine physician and director of the Supervised Lifestyle and Integrative Medicine Program at UC San Diego Health, sat down with Everyday Health at the 2023 American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference in Denver to share tips on how to start the conversation.

Everyday Health: In a recent survey of over 3,000 respondents that Everyday Health conducted (which is outlined in our Weight Loss Reframed Report) we found that while 6 in 10 healthcare practitioners have talked with their patients about losing weight, only half of patients have asked their provider for help with weight loss. Why do you think so many patients are reluctant to ask their doctor for help with their weight?

Deepa Sannidhi, MD: They actually feel somewhat frustrated because up until recently there really haven’t been as many very effective treatments for weight loss, but also I think there are not as many medical professionals trained on how to speak about weight with patients, and how to speak about lifestyle with patients. And then the cherry on the cake is a lot of providers across the board don’t really know how to speak about weight and lifestyle in a way that’s not stigmatizing for patients.


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