There is a reason we take health advice from our doctors. After all, they're supposed to know best. However, a new study shows that some doctors might be passing inaccurate judgment on patients when it comes to weight-related issues. According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, some doctors have a hard time addressing obesity in patients when they themselves are struggling with their own weight issues.
Researchers studied 500 primary care physicians around the US and found out that a doctor's own weight can influence the way he or she dispenses advice on patients’ health. Doctors who were overweight were less likely to address the issue compared to those who were of normal weight.
Furthermore, researchers discovered that 93 percent of the doctors diagnosed their patients as obese only if they believed themselves to be of lesser or equal weight. The small percent of obese doctors who do diagnose obesity in their patients also tend to prescribe anti-obesity medications rather than exercise and a proper diet, whether it's because they had negative experiences or they subconsciously felt giving such advice would be hypocritical from someone who wasn't thin. Meanwhile, doctors who used to be overweight but successfully lost pounds by making lifestyle changes were more likely to recommend the same to their patients.
These results may be surprising, but they are most likely a subconscious reaction rather than an intentional matter, the researchers say. These findings also put the spotlight on doctors who are also struggling with their weight. If more doctors could lose weight the right way, they would be able to diagnose more obese patients and advise them to make lifestyle changes involving diet and exercise.
But you don't need to be a doctor to know the importance of leading by example. If you want your family or friends to lose weight, be the first to take action.
You can start leading a healthier lifestyle by having a balanced diet. Check out these articles for tips and ideas:
- Smart Swaps: 10 Healthy Alternatives to Less Healthy Food
- Pound Patrol: 7 Bad Eating Habits You Should Drop to Control Your Weight
- Healthy Options: 10 Substitutes for High-Carb Foods
- Tipid Tips: How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
- Tipid Tips: 5 Low-Cost Healthy Foods
- Watch What You Eat: 5 Food Culprits You Should Be Wary Of
- 15 Healthy Foods That Help Reduce Stress
- Hold the Salt: Yummy Low-Salt Recipes for the Health-Conscious
- 22 Yummy Heart-Healthy Recipes
- 20 Meat-Free Recipes Perfect For Lent
For exercise tips, try these:
- 5 Ways to Keep Fit When You Don't Have Time
- 10 Fun Ways to Get Fit in the New Year
- Not Your Average Workout: 5 Cool Ways to Get Fit
- 5 Reasons to Try Bollywood Dance
- 5 Reasons to Try Hapa Haole Hula
(Photo by sundesigns via sxc.hu)