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Perceptions of Antiobesity Medications Among Personal Trainers

Lobb, Linda R; Lobb, William B; Hallam, Jeffrey S

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 - pp 485-489
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31816607e5
Original Research

The purpose of this research was to develop a baseline understanding of the knowledge and perceptions that certified personal trainers have of both prescription and nonprescription weight loss drugs. A 16-item qualitative survey instrument was used to interview certified personal trainers. Interviews were conducted via telephone to assess trainers' current level of knowledge and perceptions of weight loss drugs. Questions about both prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) medications were included in the survey instrument. All trainers (n = 43) held current National Association of Personal Trainers (NAPT) certifications or certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Criteria for inclusion were dependent on having knowledge about prescription weight loss medications (n = 24). Almost half of the sample had no knowledge of weight loss medications. Of the 43 trainers surveyed, 58% were able to list one currently or previously available medication, 42% were able to list two medications, and no certified personal trainer was able to provide names of more than two medications. Personal trainers did not support the use of either prescription or OTC weight loss medications. In fact, these interventions were rated the lowest on a 7-point scale among options assessed concerning their importance to a weight loss program: diet (6.67), exercise (7.00), and medication use (1.96). The results suggest a lack of awareness of weight loss medications and a potential bias against prescription weight loss medication use. This finding illustrates the need for further studies of fitness professionals' perceptions of and attitudes toward antiobesity medications as a form of weight loss intervention.

Center for Health Promotion and Health Behavior, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

Address correspondence to Linda R. Lobb, llobb@olemiss.edu.

© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association