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03-21-2018 | Obesity | Review | Article

A Narrative Review of Physician Perspectives Regarding the Social and Environmental Determinants of Obesity

Current Diabetes Reports

Authors: Ashley H. Noriea, Feenalie N. Patel, Debra A. Werner, Monica E. Peek

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

Diet-related chronic diseases result from individual and non-individual (social, environmental, and macro-level) factors. Recent health policy trends, such as population health management, encourage assessment of the individual and non-individual factors that cause these diseases. In this review, we evaluate the physician’s perspective on the individual and non-individual causes and management of obesity.

Recent Findings

Physicians generally rated individual-level causes (i.e., biology, psychology, and behavior) as more important than social or environmental factors in the development of obesity, and utilized individual-level strategies over social or environmental strategies to manage obesity.


This review suggests that clinicians perceive individual characteristics to be more important in the development and management of obesity than social or environmental factors. Additional research is needed to understand why.

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