Medicare, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) all define obesity as a disease. In fact, in 2012, Medicare began reimbursing for Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity (IBTO), an obesity counseling program consisting of up to 22 sessions that can only be provided by a primary care practitioner operating in a primary care center.
Obesity counseling begs for a different approach. It requires patience, giving time for the patient to absorb, engage, and take action. It requires teaching a patient about good nutrition, proper physical activity, proper management of stress, and how to achieve fitful sleep. Doctors are typically not good coaches in that regard. They come. They diagnose. They conquer.