The Role of Providers

Patients look to their primary care provider more than any other source for information on promoting health and preventing disease, especially when they are faced with a serious, chronic condition like  diabetes or heart disease.

The American Heart Association, Stroke Association, College of Cardiology and The Obesity Society now encourage doctors to consider obesity a disease and more actively treat obese patients for weight loss. Guidelines include a first-of-its-kind roadmap to help patients lose weight and keep it off .

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“The subsequent health problems of obesity and the risk factors in a person’s family history, passed down through the generations, have become increasingly more of a burden. That’s the siren sound we can no longer ignore."

— Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., past president of the American Heart Association and chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore

Research about weight loss to prevent heart disease and stroke shows weight loss of 5 to 7 percent, achieved by reducing calories and increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week, lowers blood pressure and blood glucose, improves blood lipids, and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people at high risk for disease (November, 2013). For people over 60 years old, weight loss reduced risk by 71 percent:

  • Healthcare providers must find out who would benefit from weight loss by calculating, at least once a year, each patients’ body mass index (BMI). Patients with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese and should be referred to treatment. 
  • Patients should participate in a supervised weight management intervention for at least six months. 
“Telling patients they need to lose weight is not enough. We want healthcare providers to own the problem. Just like they own the problem of glycemic control in a patient with diabetes, they need to own the problem of weight management."

— Donna Ryan, M.D, professor emeritus at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge

According to the guidelines, patients are more likely to follow a weight loss routine when guided by a trained professional in a healthcare setting. A trained lifestyle coach helps participants strengthen their ability to deal with temptations and other challenges to their weight-loss plan. Behavioral strategies may include monitoring weight, setting goals, tracking food and calorie intake and creating an environment at home and work that encourages a healthier lifestyle.

A follow-up study found, after 10 years, those who participated in an earlier lifestyle change intervention had a 34 percent lower rate of type 2 diabetes.

“People don’t need to reach an optimal weight to reap the health benefits of weight loss. Shedding even a modest number of pounds can have significant health benefits." 
— Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health

Recommending your patients take part in LifeWeighs Wellness Coaching is simple. We will provide you with tools to relay program benefits to your patients and help you implement a simple referral process.


CDC monitors participating lifestyle change interventions through its recognition program to ensure quality control and adherence to scientific standards.


Provider Overview

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Invite a LifeWeighs Coach to explain how we an help your patients lower their risk!