Time to abandon the notion of personal choice in dietary counseling for obesity
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
Medical Subject Headings
*Choice Behavior; Counseling; Eating; Feeding Behavior; Humans; Nutrition Therapy; Obesity; Power (Psychology); *Professional-Patient Relations; Social Environment; Social Stigma; Weight Loss
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion
De-emphasizing the role of personal choice in dietary counseling for obesity would reduce stigma, but doing so carries the risk of undermining patients' perceived control over their weight loss success. The goal of this commentary is to help dietetics practitioners negotiate this dilemma by presenting a scientifically informed framework that views the personal choices relevant to obesity counseling in terms of three neurobehavioral processes. We argue that applying this framework in dietary counseling can both minimize patient stigma and preserve patients' sense of empowerment.