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Abstract

In the context of a worldwide obesity epidemic, healthcare providers play a key role in obesity management. Knowledge of current guidelines and attitudes to prevent stigmatization are especially important. This study aimed to assess knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, perception of opportunity for intervention, declared practices and need for training and material of nurses and physicians about obesity in a Swiss University Hospital. A total of 834 physicians and nurses filled an online survey. The questionnaire was based on literature, exploratory interviews and expert committee review. It was pre‐tested with 15 physicians and nurses. Participants declared a low level of negative attitudes towards individuals living with obesity. However, the results highlighted a lack of knowledge to diagnose obesity in adults and children, as well as confidence and training to care of patients with obesity. One‐third of providers did not know how to calculate body mass index. Half of providers felt it was part of their role to take care of patients with obesity, even if 55% of them had the feeling that they did not have adequate training. Nurses and physicians working in a university hospital showed a low level of negative attitudes but a lack of knowledge and skills on obesity management. Training should be improved in this population to insure adequate and coherent messages and equal access to evidence‐based treatment for patients living with obesity.

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