The ongoing health and economic implications obesity poses on individuals and society has created a demand for specialists with expertise and training in obesity and weight management, which we have addressed at Learna | Diploma MSc with weight management courses for health professionals. Our PgDip and MSc programmes in Obesity and Weight Management are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge required to confidently and holistically support those living with obesity.
With learning delivered through our expert faculty, our obesity management courses are based on clinical scenarios and the latest research and best practice in line with the Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative, recognising the need for personalised treatment plans that consider individual factors and circumstances to achieve the best long term outcomes in treating obesity.
Why is obesity important?
Obesity is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, and also puts patients at higher risk of developing several other serious illnesses. Living with obesity can present difficulties in day-to-day living, as individuals may struggle with physical tasks, employment, as well as experiencing social isolation and frequent pain. In addition to the strain that living with obesity places on individuals, the epidemic causes serious financial repercussions for society as seriously overweight patients incur significantly higher medical costs than others.
How is obesity treated?
The Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative describes six competency domains essential in treating obesity:
- Patient Care and Procedural Skills
- Medical Knowledge
- Practice-based Learning and Improvement
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills
- Systems-based Practice
These competencies recognise the need for a multiskilled and comprehensive approach from practitioners working to obesity and weight management treatments.
Traditionally, many people consider that the answer to treating obesity is for patients to eat less and exercise more. While these may be relevant steps as part of a treatment plan, thinking of them as a one size fits all approach is reductive and potentially harmful. It fails to acknowledge the complex and varied nature of obesity, and the range of factors such as genetics, life events, neurohormonal mechanisms, social and cultural influences, and psychological factors that affect obesity.
Treatments that put the individual at the centre of the approach to weight management may include talking therapies, Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT), setting tangible goals, and strategies toward long term behavioural change that focus more on healthy living than weight loss.
Personalised training plans for managing obesity
Recognising the complexity of obesity as a disease means recognising that the causes and manifestations of obesity vary from person to person. A phenotype guided approach considers four phenotypes of obesity:
- Abnormal satiation (hungry brain)
- Hedonic eating (emotional eating)
- Abnormal satiety (hungry gut)
- Decreased metabolic rate (slow burn)
The diversity between these four phenotypes demonstrates the variety of both causes and manifestations of obesity and why cases need to be considered on an individual basis.
Three of the six modules on our diploma in weight management focus on the importance of personalised weight management programmes, exploring nutrition, physical activity and behaviour interventions; medical treatments and emerging therapies; and surgical interventions. Our courses reinforce the consideration of all factors and causes of obesity in effective clinical management.
In a personalised training plan, practitioners will consider context integration, as in many cases weight gain is linked to crisis events that put strain on an individual’s coping resources, so it is important that cases are handled sensitively and the patient’s perspective is considered.
Weight management specialists can encourage self acceptance, reflection, motivation and accountability. To ensure a plan is personalised, it is important to maintain flexibility and be prepared to experiment, changing action plans as required or inspired throughout the consultation.
Investing in long term changes to better health
Research has found that patients living with obesity want and need care that is personalised and that feeling valued and supported as humans, and building a long-term, trusting relationship with their healthcare providers, is important in achieving lasting results. Data shows that patients place high value on compassion, real listening, and a focus on holistic health.
The best outcomes seen in previous studies were in cases where content was tailored to the individual patient’s needs, feedback was customised, and goal setting personalised. It is therefore imperative that we reject the ‘one size fits all’ approach to obesity and weight management and upskill more healthcare providers to treat these cases effectively, contributing to a happier and healthier society in regards to weight management.
Why study obesity and weight management?
The expertise of obesity specialists is fundamental in delivering care that is evidence-based, personalised and lasting. By studying our weight management courses online, you will become skilled and confident in delivering specialised, personalised care to patients living with obesity to play your part in this important issue facing the healthcare industry.
Understanding the latest research and best practices in weight management is an essential aspect of holistic patient care, and a step towards reducing the costs and strain the obesity epidemic places on the healthcare services, society and individuals. If you study our obesity diploma, you will have the rewarding role of improving the lifestyle and overall health for patients experiencing chronic weight gain and other serious conditions, and helping people achieve major health goals.
What’s more, through our expert faculty you’ll have the opportunity to enhance your personal and professional development, with guidance from our field specialist tutors and a supportive global community of multidisciplinary professionals to share knowledge and best practice with.
If you have any questions about studying a diploma in obesity management or an obesity and weight management masters with Learna | Diploma MSc, you can book a call with one of our friendly admissions team who will be happy to help, or visit our obesity management course pages for more information.