Overweight patients more likely to admit problem if confronted by doctor

Apr 13, 2011

Overweight patients are more likely to admit they need to lose weight if they are confronted by a doctor. r

While no one likes to be the one to burst someone's bubble, new research has shown that overweight or obese people are more likely to admit they have a weight problem if they are confronted by a doctor.

Researchers from the University of South Carolina and Imperial College London analyzed data on adults who took government health surveys between 2005 and 2008 to determine their results. They found that 20 percent of obese patients who had not been confronted by their physicians described themselves as "not overweight" compared to 3 percent of those whose doctors addressed the problem. Furthermore, the results indicated that one-third of obese and 55 percent of overweight patients had never been told they were heavy by a physician.

While some doctors may be hesitant to bring up the issue, doing so may be the only way to convince some patients that they have a problem. Dr. Robert Post, one of the study authors, told Bloomberg that he noticed in his own practice that many patients were not aware they were overweight.

Some Americans may be unaware of what qualifies as a healthy weight, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one in three U.S. adults are obese, while even more are overweight. Treating obesity with diet and exercise can lower the risk factors for heart disease and consequently, lower life insurance premiums.

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