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Physical therapy can and should be in the forefront in battling obesity, these physical therapists say.

Feature Obesity 1

There's the conviction.

"Physical therapists are in a unique position to prescribe exercise to treat the associated medical complications of obesity, as well as the functional limitations that may be present in individuals with overweight or obesity," says Andrea Hergenroeder, PT, PhD, OCS, a researcher and assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of Pittsburgh. "We have the knowledge and skills to assess baseline activity levels and help patients and clients make behavioral changes, such as increasing their physical activity, which will lead to healthier lifestyles."

There's the reality.

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  1. Racette SB, Deusinger SS, Deusinger RH. Obesity:overview of prevalence, etiology, and treatment. Phys Ther. 2003;83:276-288.
  2. Crandall SS. Prejudice against far people: ideology and self-interest. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1994;66(5):882-894.
  3. Hergenroeder AL, Brach JS, Otto AD, et al. Influence of body mass index on self-report and performance-based measures of physical function in adult women. Cardiopulm Phys Ther J. 2011;22(3):11-20.
  4. Smith WA, Chenhong L, Nottage KA, et al. Lifestyle and metabolic syndrome in adult survivors of childhood cancer. Cancer. 2014;120(17):2742-2750.
  5. Ligabel JA, Alfano CM, Courneya KS, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology position statement on obesity and cancer.J Clin Oncol. 2014 Oct 1 [Epub ahead of print].
  6. Frese EM, Richter RR, Burlis TV. Self-reported measurement of heart rate and blood pressure in patients by physical therapy clinical instructors. Phys Ther. 2002;82:1192-1200.
  7. Cooper B. A crisis reality check. PT in Motion. 2014;6(10). Accessed December 10, 2014.

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