Improving Patient Outcomes for Adults with Obesity

Improving Patient Outcomes for Obesity Through Diagnosis and Management

Estimated Time for Completion: 140 minutes

Obesity is a serious health condition that can lead to or exacerbate other health conditions, including leading causes of death in the United States such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Obesity results from behavior and, in some cases, genetics, but is also influenced by factors such as environment, food access and education. Overall, it is linked with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. In 2017–2018, 42.4% of adults in the United States were obese and 9.2% of adults were severely obese. From 1999–2018, the percentage of obese and severely obese adults in the United States increased year over year.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians screen children, adolescents and adults for obesity using body mass index (BMI) measurement as the screening test. Other entities—the American Heart Association (AHA), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Healthcare, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO)—recommend at least one additional measure: waist to hip ratio, waist to height ratio or waist circumference, because BMI does not consider relative muscle and fat mass.

There are various treatment methods for obesity, depending on severity and patient need, but they generally fall into three categories: lifestyle and behavioral intervention, pharmacotherapy and weight-loss procedures. The end goal of treatment is not necessarily weight loss but a measurable improvement of the patient’s health and quality of life.

This course will provide health care professionals working in primary care with the education needed to diagnose and treat obesity in adults, with a focus on patient-centered care to effectively meet the needs of patients through a variety of treatment options. The program will also educate participants on the capability of telehealth as a modality for engaging patients to improve outcomes and reduce disease burden.

This program is supported by an independent educational grant from Novo Nordisk.

Target Audience

This education program is geared toward members of interdisciplinary health care teams (physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers and others) practicing in primary care settings.

Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Recognize the health and economic impact of obesity at a national level.
  • Discuss strategies and tools to screen for overweight and obesity among adult patients in a primary care setting.
  • Reduce barriers to discussing weight with adult patients during primary care visits.
  • Distinguish between recommended treatment options for adults with obesity based on patient preferences and risk factors.
  • Utilize telehealth effectively as a tool for patient education and engagement in weight management.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 ACPE
  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 2.00 ANCC
  • 2.00 IPCE
  • 1.00 Participation
  • 2.00 PCMH CCE
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Module 1: Disease Burden

Module 2: Patient Stories

Module 3: Screening and Diagnosis

Module 4: Treatment Options

4.1: Lifestyle Change

4.2: Pharmacotherapy

4.3: Surgical Interventions

4.4: Weight Loss Maintenance

Module 5: Telehealth

5.1: Telehealth Overview
Special thanks to the American Telemedicine Association for their assistance with this module.

5.2: Telemedicine and Obesity

Kimberly Anne Gudzune, M.D., M.P.H., F.T.O.S.

Kimberly Gudzune, MD MPH FTOS is board certified in internal medicine and a diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She directs the Johns Hopkins Healthful Eating, Activity & Weight Program, which offers a variety of services to support lifestyle changes for weight loss and management of chronic disease. In her practice, Dr. Gudzune designs weight management plans that blend diet, exercise and medications. She was recognized as a "Top Weight Management Doctor" by Baltimore Magazine in 2019.

Dr. Gudzune is also an active researcher. Her work focuses on obesity, specifically how obesity influences the healthcare experience, the efficacy of commercial weight-loss programs, and how features of the built and social environment influence diet and exercise habits among low-income urban populations. Her research has been featured in The New York Times and on National Public Radio.

Dr. Gudzune attended Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she received her doctor of medicine and master of public health degrees. She completed her training in internal medicine at the University of Maryland Medical System. After residency, Dr. Gudzune engaged in additional weight management training and completed a clinical research fellowship within the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Faculty Disclosure

Dr. Gudzune is a consultant for Eli Lilly and has received a research grant from Novo Nordisk. All of the relevant financial relationships listed for this individual has been mitigated.

Kristina Henderson Lewis, M.D., M.P.H., S.M.

Dr. Kristina Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest University Health Sciences. She is a practicing physician, board-certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. She earned a BS in Biology from Duke University in 2001, followed by an MD and an MPH in Epidemiology from Tulane University in 2007. After medical school, Dr. Lewis completed an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and then a General Internal Medicine fellowship at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Population Medicine. During fellowship, she obtained a Masters of Science degree in Health Policy & Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Lewis has led a number of research studies focused on the prevention and treatment of obesity, earning funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and others. She has authored or co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles on obesity and nutrition. She has diverse research interests ranging from evaluating population-level approaches to prevention, to the effectiveness and safety of bariatric surgery for patients with severe obesity. Dr. Lewis’ clinical practice is in medical weight management at the Wake Forest Baptist Health Weight Management Center.  

Faculty Disclosure

Dr. Henderson Lewis has no financial relationships to disclose relating to the subject matter of this presentation.

    Joseph Brennan

    Joseph Brennan is an advisor to the American Telemedicine Association and a telehealth consultant at Moonshot Health Consulting. Prior to starting Moonshot Health Consulting, he served as Senior Director of the Virtual Health program at Spectrum Health based in Western Michigan. He has worked with many healthcare organizations on the development and scale of telehealth including the recent launch of Yale New Haven Health's Video Care OnDemand program and rapid expansion in response to COVID-19.  Joe has championed several pioneering components of a telehealth program, including a robust dashboard for outcomes analytics, a custom developed mobile app, and a digitally-driven, multimodal advertising strategy. He has been an advocate for telehealth at both the state and federal levels of government, testifying before the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate about the positive impact of telehealth .  Joe is bronze certified in Lean Process Improvement and LEAD certified in the Stanford Design Thinking Process. Prior to his work in telehealth, Joe served in various positions in technology and start-up entrepreneurship.

    Faculty Disclosure

    Mr. Brennan has no financial relationships to disclose relating to the subject matter of this presentation.

    In support of improving patient care, the National Committee for Quality Assurance is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to provide Interprofessional Continuing Education for the healthcare team. 

    This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 2.0 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change. 

    This educational activity is approved for: 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.

    This educational activity is approved for 2.0 nursing contact hours.*

    The assigned universal program number: JA0004597-0000-21-015-H04-P. Upon successful completion of this program (attending the full session and completing a program evaluation), participants will access CPE Monitor on the ACPE website to locate and track their CPE statement of credit.

    This program grants 2.0 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) points for PCMH Certified Content Experts.  This program is not considered a required CCE quarterly webinar.

    * Please note – You must attend the entire program to be eligible for total number of contact hours. 

    ATTENTION: Effective February 1, 2022, this on-demand (enduring material) activity no longer offers credits for the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the American Psychological Association (APA), or the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Only applicable professionals who fully completed this on-demand activity prior to February 1, 2022, are eligible for AAPA, APA, or ASWB credits. No other CEUs are impacted by this change.”

    Available Credit

    • 2.00 ACPE
    • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
    • 2.00 ANCC
    • 2.00 IPCE
    • 1.00 Participation
    • 2.00 PCMH CCE
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