The rising level of obesity has been called the most urgent challenge to public health for the 21st
century. While many social institutions should be involved in addressing this problem, family
physicians have an important role in identifying and managing obesity.
To assess and compare the knowledge , attitudes and practice regarding obesity management among
family and non family physicians working in primary health care centers.
A cross-sectional survey has recruited a randomly selected sample of primary health care physicians
working in primary health care centers in Baghdad in 2010. A structured self-administered
questionnaire was used to collect data from 232 physicians. These include family medicine board
certified and other non-family medicine certified physicians. The questionnaire had four main parts:
personal data, knowledge, attitude and practice.
The majority of the respondents depend on the waist circumference to diagnose obesity with 100%
among the family physicians and (74.2%) among non-family physicians. The majority of the
respondents think that obesity is a major health problem in Iraq with 49 (96.08%) among the family
physicians and132 (72.93%) among non family physicians. About (84.3%, 72.5% and 41.2%) of
family physicians agreed to prescribe Weight reduction medication when BMI >30, Patient not on
diet and on patient request respectively. Almost all family physicians (92.1%) agreed that is it better
to have a training course in obesity management compared to 49.46% among non- family
Both the family and nonfamily physicians working in the primary health centers need to improve
their knowledge and skills regarding obesity management