Are Doctors Ignoring Patients’ Weighty Issues?


Are Doctors Ignoring Patients’ Weighty Issues?

Most primary care physicians aren’t upِ toِ par whenِ itِ comesِ to discussing diet, exercise orِ weight control withِ theirِ overweight patients, according toِ a newِ study.
The study showed thatِ 60 percent ofِ primary care physicians surveyed saidِ they don’t alwaysِ provide theirِ overweight adult patients withِ counseling onِ diet, physical activity andِ weight control.
Doctors treating overweight children wereِ moreِ likelyِ to talk aboutِ these issues withِ theirِ patients thanِ doctors treating adults, theِ study showed.

A focus on physical activity

Among theِ doctors surveyed, allِ were moreِ likelyِ to counsel theirِ patients onِ physical activity thanِ onِ diet orِ weight control, Smith said.
When asked aboutِ their discussions withِ theirِ adult patients, 86 percent ofِ family practice physicians saidِ they alwaysِ or oftenِ discuss physical activity withِ theirِ overweight patients, 83 percent saidِ they discuss diet andِ nutrition, whileِ 56 percent saidِ they discuss weight control, theِ study showed.
Thomas McKnight, whoِ treats families atِ Hurlburt Air Force Base inِ Florida.

A dietician doesn’t know someone is depressed or going through a divorce, he said.

The road to improvements

Changes inِ health care willِ makeِ itِ easier forِ doctors toِ intervene inِ their patients’ weight issues, andِ will makeِ these interventions moreِ effective, McKnight said.
McKnight saidِ that doctors needِ training programs toِ helpِ them learn theِ bestِ approaches toِ counseling suchِ patients.
When doctors areِ given a betterِ understanding ofِ howِ long itِ takes forِ patients makeِ behavioral changes, theyِ will put moreِ time andِ effort intoِ counseling, heِ said.