Doctor’s Support Crucial to Recovering from Obesity

A research that compared the impact of doctors’ support on patients’ weight loss attempts found that those who received the most support from their doctors lost more weight than those whose doctors were less helpful.

The government funded study which ran for two years was participated in by 347 obese respondents.  Results of the study showed that patients who had their doctors’ support at least doubled their weight loss, registering a weight loss of 11 pounds, compared to those in the other group who lost an average of five pounds. Respondents were made to accomplish questionnaires detailing patients’ diet plans as well as relationship with their doctors.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are considering using the results of the research in designing an effective diet plan that will allow doctors more involvement in their patient’s weight loss program.

Assistant professor of medicine in the School of Medicine, Dr. Wendy Bennett said, “This trial supports other evidence that providers are very important in their patients’ weight-loss efforts. Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss.”

Bennett also underscored the importance of “doctor-patient relationships that include empathy, good communication, collaboration and trust [as it]  improve[s] the chances that patients will take medicines as prescribed, keep medical appointments and have better outcomes.” She further added that many diet plans fail to work because these are mostly “commercially run” and patients enroll in them without consulting their doctors.

The study was published in the journal Patient Education and Counseling.