Who Will Lose Weight? MDs Predictions Often Wrong

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Credit: Doctor visit photo via Shutterstock

Who Will Lose Weight? MDs Predictions Often Wrong

If youِ wantِ toِ knowِ whether you’ll lose weight orِ not, don’t askِ a doctor.
In a newِ study, physicians predicted aboutِ 55 percent ofِ patients wouldِ beِ likely orِ very likelyِ to follow theirِ recommendations forِ losing weight, eating healthier orِ gettingِ more exercise.
  It wasِ surprising, researchers said, thatِ inِ slightly moreِ than halfِ of cases, doctors saidِ they believed theirِ patients wouldِ follow theirِ recommendations, becauseِ other work hasِ not shown thatِ physicians haveِ that level ofِ optimism aboutِ their patients’ behaviors.

The findings were published Feb. 7 in the journal Family Practice.

Recordings of doctor’s appointments

More thanِ 60 percent ofِ Americans areِ overweight orِ obese, according toِ theِ Centers forِ Disease Control andِ Prevention.
In theِ study, theِ researchers madeِ audio recordings ofِ conversations betweenِ 40 doctors andِ 461 ofِ their overweight orِ obese patients.
The doctors andِ patients knew theirِ conversations wereِ beingِ recorded, butِ were told onlyِ that theِ study theyِ were participating inِ would lookِ atِ how doctors addressed disease prevention withِ theirِ patients — notِ that weight loss goals wouldِ beِ looked at, specifically.

The physicians were more often accurate in their guesses about who not improve.

While previous studies hadِ surveyed physicians aboutِ their expectations forِ their patients inِ general, noneِ hadِ asked doctors whatِ theyِ thought aboutِ specific patients immediately afterِ an office visit, according toِ theِ study.
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Is optimism good?

Doctors’ expectations aboutِ their patients ability toِ change isِ important, becauseِ a doctor withِ lowِ expectations canِ lead toِ patients beingِ less likelyِ to improve theirِ behaviors, theِ researchers said.
But physician optimism mightِ haveِ some bene?ts.
Patients mightِ feel moreِ con?dent thatِ they canِ lose weight whenِ theyِ feel theirِ physician believes theyِ will change, theِ researchers wrote.