February 8, 2012
A recently published study has found that overweight doctors are less likely to discuss weight loss with obese patients than those with normal body mass indexes (BMIs). The study also found that 37 percent of overweight doctors vs. 53 percent of doctors with normal BMIs were confident in their ability to provide patients with effective counseling about their diet or exercise (38 percent vs. 56 percent.)
The researchers surveyed 498 family doctors, internists and general practitioners early last year. One of the most significant findings revealed that 93 percent of physicians of normal body weight reported that they would be more likely to identify an obese patient when the person is as large or larger than they are. On the other hand, only 7 percent of overweight or obese physicians affirmed this statement.
Researchers speculate that doctors may have a skewed sense of what normal weight is if they are heavier themselves, or see many excessively overweight patients in their practices.
Read the full article at NPR.