-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Obese people are
less likely to lose weight if they feel they're being judged by
their doctor, a new study suggests.
To come to this conclusion, researchers conducted an Internet
survey of 600 overweight and obese adults in the United States who
made regular visits to their primary care doctor.
"Negative encounters can prompt a weight-loss attempt, but our study shows they do not translate into success," study author Dr. Kimberly Gudzune, an assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a Hopkins news release.
"Ideally, we need to talk about weight loss without making patients feel they are being judged," she said. "It's a fine line to walk, but if we can do it with sensitivity, a lot of patients would benefit."
The researchers found that 21 percent of the respondents said
they believed their doctor judged them because of their weight.
Ninety-six percent of those who felt judged said they tried to lose
weight in the previous year, compared with 84 percent who did not
Only 14 percent of people who felt judged and discussed weight
loss with their doctor lost 10 percent or more of their body
weight, compared with 20 percent of those who did not feel judged
and talked with their doctor about shedding pounds, the findings
The researchers also found that 9 percent of those who felt
judged but did not discuss weight loss with their doctor lost more
than 10 percent of their body weight, compared with 6 percent of
those who didn't feel judged and did not talk with their doctor
about weight loss.
Just two-thirds of the respondents said their doctors brought up
the issue of weight loss, according to the study published online
this week in the journal
The findings suggest that primary care doctors need to avoid
negative attitudes about overweight and obese patients, the
Some doctors may need to be taught how to talk to overweight and
obese patients in a way that makes them feel understood and
supported, according to Gudzune. It's best to start with modest
goals, such as a 10 percent decrease in weight, she noted.
"We don't want to overwhelm them," she added. "If we are their advocates in this process -- and not their critics -- we can really help patients to be healthier through weight loss."
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases explains how to select a
safe and successful weight-loss program.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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