Assessment of Knowledge and Attitude of Second Year Medical Students at Texila American University, College of Medicine (TAU- COM) on Obesity

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Authors : Tajnin M. Hashim, Kamo Boikhutso


Introduction: Obesity is the excessive or abnormal accumulation of fat or adipose tissue in the body that may impair health. It is been expected that, by 2030, 38% of the population to be overweight and another 20% is obese. Hence, it is important that, the medical students to have adequate knowledge on obesity. Otherwise, poor knowledge and attitude on obesity lead to inconsistency and low efficacy of treatment and outcome.

Methods: To assess the level of obesity knowledge and attitude of second year medical students in TAU- COM, Georgetown, Guyana. A 14-item questionnaire was designed to obtain the knowledge and attitude of medical students on obesity. The study subjects were second year medical students (Both MD3 & MD4) studying at TAU- COM, Georgetown, Guyana, South America. All the students enrolled in the study were requested to fill up the questionnaire. Participation was voluntary and anonymous.

Results: More than 73% of the participants strongly agreed that, obesity is a chronic disease. Participants (50%) have opined that, weight reduction is helpful in prevention of complications in obesity. Almost half of the participants have recorded that, inactive life style, watching television excessively and lack of sleep lead to weight gain. Majority (76%) of the participants agreed that, weight around the waist is more dangerous than around hips. Significant (86%) number of students agreed "they feel comfortable when examining an obese patient" and "it is not difficult for them to feel empathy for the obese patient"; in addition, they believed that overweight people lack will-power and are lazier.

Conclusion: The result of study concludes that, most of the study participants had adequate knowledge and have moderate positive attitude toward obese patients.

Keywords: Medical student, Attitude, Knowledge, Obesity.