Supportive Doctors Boost Patients' Weight-Loss Efforts

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Supportive Doctors Boost Patients' Weight-Loss Efforts
Supportive Doctors Boost Patients' Weight-Loss Efforts

MONDAY, Aug. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Weight loss is more successful for obese patients who feel they have the most helpful doctors compared to those who feel their doctors are less helpful, according to a study published in the September issue of Patient Education & Counseling.

The research involved 347 obese people who took part in a two-year U.S. government-funded clinical trial on weight loss. At the end of the trial, participants filled out surveys that included questions about their relationships with their primary care doctors.

Patients who gave their doctors the highest ratings on helpfulness during the trial lost an average of 11 pounds, compared to just over 5 pounds for patients who gave their doctors the lowest helpfulness ratings.

"This trial supports other evidence that providers are very important in their patients' weight-loss efforts," study author Wendy Bennett, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a university news release. She noted that many weight-loss programs are commercially run, and patients often join them without their doctor's knowledge. "Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss," she added.

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