TUFTS UNIVERSITY: DOCTORS’ OWN WEIGHT INFLUENCES DIAGNOSES OF OVERWEIGHT/OBESE PATIENTS

from Tufts University Health & Nutrition Update,  February, 2012    Study published in Obesity

A 49-item questionnaire presented nationwide to 498 doctors asked about their own body-mass index and about how they handled questions of weight management with their patients. 

Normal-BMI physicians believed doctors should act as role models for their patients by maintaining a healthy weight and by adhering to a schedule of regular exercise.

Overweight or obese doctors who are less confident in their ability to provide counseling on exercise and diet and are unlikely to engage their patients about the need for weight loss. 

Doctors’ perceptions of whether their patients’ weight met or exceeded their own weight influenced whether the doctor recorded a diagnosis of obesity or initiated a conversation bout weight management.

My Take on the finding:  Perhaps you’ve already figured this out for yourselves.  I know of a doctor who told one of my friends not to worry about her drinking, which was interfering with her personal and professional life.  The doctor was often seen in a Lake County restaurant tossing’em back.

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