Primary Healthcare an ideal setting for taking on obesity and diabetes epidemics

The question is, what’s the best way to do this.

In a busy GP practice, time is of the essence. The reception area is alive with patients arriving, phones ringing and nurses performing myriad tasks. Stitches in, stitches out, vaccinations, BP and temperature readings, dressings, you name it….its happening.

The doctors are on fairly short time limits for appointments as they deal with the daily patient workload. And they’re always aware of the backlog of patients sitting in the waiting area. 

Overall, they’re stretched to the limit and have little time for some of the niceties that could really benefit patients.

Today I’d like to tell you about some of our experiences with our GP referral patients. And I’ll discuss a workable plan to help medical practices offer desperately needed, consistent advice to patients with weight and diabetes issues.

It’s difficult enough for doctors to look after the medical needs of their patients and the administrative demands of a busy practice, let alone fulfill their pastoral care requirements, such as advice on family planning, weight management or diabetes care.  

Health Coaches

Most fortunately, New Zealand practices now have access to health coaches to refer patients to. They take care of these important issues.  Studies show that health coaching produces statistically significant benefits in weight management, increased physical activity and the mental health status of patients. 

The practice we currently work with has an in-house coach, and she is keen to use our methods around weight and diabetes issues with her referred patients.

Now, add to this the number of communication channels doctors now have with their patients, and we have a formula for significant improvements in patient wellbeing.

We have a high level of trust in our health professionals and information we receive from them is regarded as authentic and helpful, depending on our circumstances.

Communication channels include SMS texting, email, patient portals and social media. A potentially potent mix if the information and messages are indeed authentic and helpful.

Our experience

Over the past 20 years we have received many referrals from GPs, with a mix of  individual consultations and group Wellness Challenges.

We’ve had many notable successes with patients losing significant amounts of weight, improving or reversing type 2 diabetes conditions and improving their important medical markers like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Here are just two of those people:

In the past we have been able to help many patients with our consultations and wellness challenges. And now with in-house health coaches and the full range of communication channels  including SMS texting, email, patient portals and social media, a potentially potent mix has been created. The success of this is largely dependant upon the ability of the coach, and   authentic, well proven and effective programmes.

Eat For Keeps are delighted with these developments, and have had twenty years experience helping thousands of Kiwis with weight and diabetes issues. Our programmes have proved to be effective in these clinical settings and we are ideally placed with our experience and resources to help develop a working model for GP practices. 

Why primary healthcare

Medical practices are our trusted source of heath care. The practices have disciplined approaches to this care and all advice, prescriptions, test results and so on are well documented in their Med Tech system.  If an effective working model was made available to all practices across the country, potentially hundreds of thousands of patients would benefit from the coaching and consistent advice around nutrition and weight and diabetes issues. And of course, in other areas like mental health.

How it would work

We can train health coaches in how to use our new, free online programme, The EFK Method, which can be used with referred patients. Training for diabetics can include how to safely reduce diabetic medication as insulin sensitivity improves and how to deal with hypos. The GP can oversee this process. We have successfully used this method for a number of years. 

Patients receive the big picture about nutrition and a simplified version of the physiology of blood-sugar control. This is supplemented by simple and practical tips to help when eating out. 

Bottom line – they know how and why they have these problems and have the tools to do something about it. Unlike prescriptive diets and fads, they’re in the drivers seat and can find their own solutions to their food and lifestyle challenges.

They are supported by their health coach and GP, and have access to blogs, webinars, recipes and other relevant information through emails, social media and the practice’s website.

Our EFK team are excited about this opportunity and we know that an effective working model in medical practises across the country can have a major, positive impact.

If you are interested in knowing more about this for your own practise, contact Leigh on 027 294 1980,

Join Our FREE Online Programme – The EFK Method

This free online programme has been developed using our 20+ years of experience in helping people overcome
weight-related and diabetes-related issues.It’s a simple, practical guide and takes less than one hour to complete.

Get started now and tell all your friends and family about it.
Click on this link, follow the prompts and enter your details.
You will be directed back to the Home Page.
Go to My Dashboard in the top menu select ‘Edit’ and change your password.
You’ll see the EFK Method in your my My Courses tab.