/publications/issue/2004/2004-06/2004-06-7965

Fewer Doctors Give Proper Advice

Author: Susan Farley

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 40% of physicians advised their obese patients to lose weight in 2000, compared with 42.5% in 1994. Despite 1998 federal guidelines that encourage doctors to advise overweight patients to lose weight, experts say that physicians lack formal training in nutrition and obesity and therefore do not pass on proper information to their patients. The report also pointed out that, when a physician recommends weight loss, patients are more than 3 times more likely to shed the extra pounds. CDC researcher Dr. Omer Abid said that doctors "should recognize that obesity, similar to hypertension and diabetes, is a chronic condition and as such requires continued follow-up."