GPs on the frontline of fight for healthy lifestyle

Illawarra Medical Centre general practitioner Tessa Young says GPs can help people make significant lifestyle changes. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d409421
Illawarra Medical Centre general practitioner Tessa Young says GPs can help people make significant lifestyle changes. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d409421

Tessa Young said GPs were ideally placed to help patients of any age, with any medical conditions or disabilities, by individualising their advice, treating the patient as a whole and following the patient up on an individual basis.

‘We know that the more individualised a program and the more support a person gets, the more long-term success they will have,’ Dr Young said.

‘Even a 5 per cent weight loss in an obese patient can reduce disease markers like blood pressure, blood test results, well-being and reliance on medications,

‘We treat these conditions when they arise and can help to provide appropriate motivation to maximise results.’

The general practitioner said many people were piling on the kilograms because of an increasingly busy lifestyle.

‘The most common stories that I hear are about snack choices, with poor nutritional benefit, and unconscious eating in front of the television,’ Dr Young said.

‘The other overwhelming change over the last 50 years has been portion sizes.’

Dr Young helped her practice manager fit back into size eight clothes.

‘We created an achievable and appropriate goal, and then came up with a program that fitted into her and her husband’s lifestyle,’ Dr Young said.

‘Keryn was followed up weekly with weigh-ins and support, and said she felt fantastic.