By Denise Williams | News & Views
Citing her South Asian roots, Baylor University’s Germaine Ferreira, PT, DPT, MSPT, BHMS, felt compelled to attend an AACVPR 38th Annual Meeting session led last month by new AACVPR President Wen-Chih “Hank” Wu, MD, MPH, and Past President Ana Mola, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, MAACVPR. The educational offering, titled “The Burden and Health Care Disparities of Obesity Among Asian American Populations,” drilled down into the challenges associated with using generalized body mass index (BMI) thresholds to determine obesity in this patient group and subgroups. “I am originally from India,” explains Dr. Ferreira, a clinical associate professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, “and wanted to learn how this presentation could apply to my family.”
Personal motivation aside, she also was keen to increase her knowledge around JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) and take what she learned back to her classes in the physical therapy department at Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. “I am very interested in providing my students with an opportunity to learn about various cultures and the health issues faced by different ethnicities,” Dr. Ferreira elaborates.
The presenters covered quite a bit of ground during the discussion, which ended with audience engagement. The conversation included, but was not limited to, topics such as:
- Why Asian-specific parameters for evaluating obesity are needed in clinical practice
- What the implications of central adiposity are among Asian patients
- Which sub-groups are most at risk for obesity and associated comorbidities
- Why self-perception of healthy body weight matters
- What factors other than standard BMI contribute to healthcare disparities among Asian Americans
- Low rate of recommendation for bariatric surgery
- Low rate of prescribed anti-obesity medications
- How providers should proceed until national guidelines with appropriate BMI criteria are drafted and implemented
- Suggested BMI cutoff when screening for type 2 diabetes, as proposed by the American Diabetes Association
Meeting-goers who couldn’t squeeze in the talk by Dr. Wu and Dr. Mola or were unable to attend in person don’t have to miss out on their important insights, however. Recordings of this presentation and all the general sessions and breakout sessions from the Milwaukee event are available for a limited time through AACVPR’s On-Demand Access Pass. The digital deal unlocks all of the learning that spilled out of the Wisconsin Center September 13-15 and, along with it, and the potential to earn as many as 35.50 continuing education credit hours through February 29, 2024.
Revisit Part 1 and Part 2 of the Dr. Wu/Dr. Mola series on News & Views.