Disparities in counseling for lifestyle modification among obese adults: Insights from the dallas heart study

Tiffany M. Powell-Wiley, Colby R. Ayers, Kamakki Banks-Richard, Jarett D Berry, Amit Khera, Susan G. Lakoski, Darren K McGuire, James A de Lemos, Sandeep R Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Clinician counseling is a catalyst for lifestyle modification in obesity. Unfortunately, clinicians do not appropriately counsel all obese patients about lifestyle modification. The extent of disparities in clinician counseling is not well understood. Obese participants (BMI 30kg/m 2, N = 2097) in the Dallas Heart Study (DHS), a probability-based sample of Dallas County residents ages 18-65, were surveyed regarding health-care utilization and lifestyle counseling over the year prior to DHS enrollment. Health-care utilization and counseling were compared between obese participants across three categories based on the presence of 0, 1, or 2 of the following cardiovascular (CV) risk factors: hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes. Logistic regression modeling was used to determine likelihood of counseling in those with 0 vs. 1 CV risk factors, stratified by race, adjusting for age, sex, insurance status, and education. Among obese subjects who sought medical care, those with 0CV risk factors, compared to those with 1 or 2 CV risk factors, were less likely to report counseling about losing weight (41% vs. 67% vs. 87%, P trend 0.001), dietary changes (44% vs. 71% vs. 85%, P trend 0.001), and physical activity (46% vs. 71% vs. 86%, P trend 0.001). Blacks and Hispanics without CV risk factors had a lower odds of receiving counseling than whites without risk factors on weight loss (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI) for nonwhites 0.19, 0.13-0.28, whites 0.48, 0.26-0.87); dietary changes (nonwhites 0.19, 0.13-0.27, whites 0.37, 0.21-0.64); and physical activity (nonwhites 0.22, 0.16-0.32, whites 0.32, 0.18-0.57). Lifestyle counseling rates by clinicians are suboptimal among obese patients without CV risk factors, especially blacks and Hispanics. Systematic education about and application of lifestyle interventions could capitalize on opportunities for primary CV risk prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-855
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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