Helping GPs in the fight against obesity

Monday, 1 May 2006

University of Adelaide obesity specialist Professor Gary Wittert has developed a computer program that will help doctors manage their patients' weight more effectively.

Professor Gary Wittert, who is Head of the Discipline of Medicine at the University of Adelaide and Senior Consultant Endocrinologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, says the program - OBEMAN® - is designed to help GPs manage their obese or overweight patients within the time constraints of practice. He hopes the program will help tackle obesity-related illness such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Along with questionnaires that assess motivation, eating habits and commitment to physical activity, OBEMAN provides material that covers all aspects of weight management - everything from food diaries and eating out guides to information on medications and physical activity.

Professor Wittert is an investigator on a $1.4 million Australian Research Council-funded project 'Obesity, Health, Social Disadvantage and Environment in Australia: Relationships and Policy Implications' and the lead investigator on the Florey Foundation study of 'Health and Aging in North West Adelaide Men'.

Professor Wittert designed OBEMAN after he found that GPs - who should be at the forefront in the fight against obesity - were frustrated over a lack of tools available to treat the condition.

"This program will help GPs address rising rates of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions," Professor Wittert said. "Weight loss is not usually a fast or easy process, or as simple as eating the right foods. OBEMAN assists GPs to fully support their patients, continually renew their goals and gain long-term results."

Professor Wittert said GPs are best positioned to offer effective weight management and advice on all the treatment options available to overweight individuals, however time constraints have made it difficult to do so.

"OBEMAN helps individuals and their GPs get the most out of their consultation. GPs can now treat the overweight patient in a very simple, easy to access, and easy to implement manner," said Professor Wittert. OBEMAN was developed with the support of healthcare company Abbott.


Contact Details

Professor Gary Wittert
Head of Discipline of Medicine, Medical Specialties
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: 0409 411 789

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814