Tuesday, February 14, 2012

News Brief: Overweight Doctors Less Likely to Discuss Weight Loss with Patients

Parsa Shahbodaghi

A recent study has shown that doctors who are overweight or obese are less likely to talk to their patients about weight loss. The study took a sample of 498 primary care physicians. Using the body mass index, the composition of they physicians was 47% normal weight, 38% overweight, and 15% obese.

When talking to obese patients, normal weight doctors brought up weight loss 30% of the time. Similarly, doctors who perceived themselves heavier than their patients discussed weight loss 18% of the time. Not only does this show that obese doctors are unwilling to discuss weight loss, but it also shows that most physicians are unwilling to have this conversation.

Solutions to this problem are to make physicians lead healthy and active lives to set an example. Electronic medical records could automatically calculate one’s BMI, so that responsibility does not fall on the doctor.

Reference: Hobson, Katherine. "Overweight Doctors Less Likely to Discuss Weight Loss with Patients" . The Wall Street Journal. Health. Web. http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2012/01/30/overweight-doctors-less-likely-to-discuss-weight-loss-with-patients/
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