Date of Conferral







Gary Burkholder


AbstractAn estimated 70% of the United States population is considered overweight or obese, which has led to an epidemic. Primary care physicians (PCPs) are considered the first line of defense to help fight obesity through weight management by providing nutrition care to patients. With little known about how PCPs engage with their patients on nutrition care combined with changing guidelines on treating obese patients, there is a gap in research on how PCPs help patients with weight management and what tools PCPs use to accomplish this. Guided by the health promotion model, the purpose of this qualitative study was to understand how physicians work with patients to address weight management through nutrition care. Sixteen physicians from the Midwestern United States were interviewed about their knowledge of nutrition and recent dietary guidelines as well as how they participate with patients on nutrition care for weight management. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings suggested that most PCPs are working with patients on nutrition care with various methods and gaining knowledge of nutrition from a variety of sources. Implications for social change include helping provide insight into tools physicians use to help patients manage their weight, which can translate to helping the general population become healthier through nutrition and weight management.