May 6, 2011
Weight-Loss Counseling Most Prevalent Between Male Physicians And Obese Men
According to investigators reporting in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
A study published in the June 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examined the association between patient"“physician gender concordance and weight-related counseling in obese individuals. Investigators from the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University found that obese male patients seeing male physicians had higher odds of receiving weight-related counseling than obese women seeing a female physician.
The study revealed that male patients had about a 60% higher chance of receiving diet/nutrition advice and about a 76% higher chance of getting exercise counseling from male doctors compared to female patients receiving care from female doctors. In female patient/female physician pairs and female/male pairs of both types, there were no significant differences in any form of weight-related counseling.
The finding that all patients had similar odds of receiving weight-related counseling when a female patient or female physician was part of the pair may result in part from the perception that women are more likely to be dissatisfied with their weight. Female physicians may choose to avoid weight-related discussions with their obese patients and male physicians may avoid weight-related discussions with their obese female patients.
Using data from the 2005-2007 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, researchers analyzed clinical data from 5,667 obese patients to determine association between patient-physician concordance and three types of counseling: diet/nutrition (30%), exercise (23%), and weight reduction (20%) counseling.
Although one-third of US adults are obese, less than 30% of these individuals receive weight-related counseling despite the fact that such counseling is associated with modest weight loss, which is in turn linked to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose.
On the Net: