takes about 10 minutes. A basic history (including Family History) and some simple measurements and tests (including Blood Pressure, Glucose and appropriate blood tests like Cholesterol) will often identify areas needing attention.
Body Fat measurement using four skin-fold measurements to estimate total body fat is very useful prior to any weight management program to ensure weight loss is fat and not lean body mass (as occurs in many rapid weight loss programs). I also recommend using the tape measure more than the scales as exercise can increase weight by increasing muscle bulk (but the "beerpot" shrinks!). Just relying on changes in total weight or Body Mass Index [Kg/m²] can be very frustrating and misleading.
The Full Medical review or "check-up" is recommended for anyone in the second half of their life (over 40 for non-smokers, 35 for smokers), to maximise their DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years), ie quality as well as quantity of life. The "check-up" cannot be performed in a 10-15 minute standard consultation and could take up to an hour. Problems identified by the Nurse Health Check (and/or blood tests) can be reviewed and further investigations and/or management initiated.
Often this may involve life style changes rather than medication but if any cardiac risk factors are identified, you are now likely to qualify for the cholesterol-lowering drug Simvastatin (Lipex), which has been shown to reduce death by one third in the recent
Heart Protection Study.