Perceptions, attitudes and barriers to obesity management: Japanese data from the ACTION-IO study

Masato Iwabu, Toshimasa Yamauchi, Iichiro Shimomura, Kosei Eguchi, Yoshihiro Ogawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aims/Introduction: The prevalence of obesity is rising in Japan and represents a considerable unmet medical need. The Awareness, Care and Treatment in Obesity MaNagement – International Observation (ACTION-IO) study was designed to identify the perceptions, attitudes and barriers to obesity care among people with obesity (PwO) and healthcare professionals (HCPs) in Japan. Materials and Methods: An online, cross-sectional survey was carried out in 11 countries, including Japan. Results: The survey was completed by 2,001 PwO and 302 HCPs in Japan. Fewer PwO (58%) than HCPs (85%) perceived obesity as a chronic disease. Most PwO (81%) thought that weight loss was their own responsibility, and waited a considerable time before seeking support from their HCP (mean 6 years). Most PwO (64%) had made one or more serious weight loss attempt in the past. In contrast, a serious attempt at losing weight was reported by HCPs for just 21% of their patients. Just 24% of PwO had weight discussions with an HCP in the past 5 years; of those, 56% expressed positive feelings after such a conversation, and just 2% felt offended. Lack of patient motivation (68%) and patient disinterest (61%) were reported by HCPs as barriers to weight management conversations. A higher proportion of obesity specialists (37%) than non-specialists (22%) thought their patients were motivated to lose weight. Conclusions: Our Japanese dataset shows a need to raise awareness of the pathophysiological basis and clinical management of obesity among PwO and HCPs. The largely positive feelings expressed by PwO after weight loss conversations should encourage HCPs to initiate earlier discussions before obesity-related complications occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-858
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Diabetes Investigation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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