This study aimed to evaluate current clinical assessments and management of obesity in the primary care setting in Korea since anti-obesity agents have become available. A questionnaire was sent to eligible primary care physicians selected from a national probability sample in two specialties: family physicians and internists. Of 939 randomly selected physicians, 452 (48.1%) replied. We found that 51.8% of physicians were aware of the definition of obesity, and 33.8% were aware of the definition of abdominal obesity proposed by Asia-Pacific guideline. When evaluating apparently obese patients, 50.0% of respondents measured body mass index (BMI) and 20.4% measured waist circumference. Fewer than 50% of physicians measured blood glucose or lipid profiles, both of which are risk factors for obesity. About 47.3% of physicians prescribed an anti-obesity medication without allowing sufficient time for nonpharmacologic therapy to take effect, and 68.8% of physicians prescribed anti-obesity medications to patients that requested them regardless of obesity status. The majority of respondents did not appropriately evaluate obesity and its risk factors, and were readily susceptible to prescribing anti-obesity medications. Our findings suggest that primary care physicians in Korea need additional education on obesity and its management.
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