obese man standing on scale

July 7, 2021 Kevin Gendrow, a physician and state weight loss physician at Southcoast Health in Fall River, MA, told patients he was obese at the time. She says that this knowledge inspires her to lose weight.

After gaining 125 pounds in 18 months, “I can treat their bays, difficulties and plateaus on a very personal level,” he says.

Peminda Kabandugama, an endocrinologist and obesity specialist at Truman Medical Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City, has weighed 180 to 240 pounds in the last decade. He now weighs 225 pounds and has a healthy lifestyle.

“I’ve had patients who say, ‘I used to look at another weight loss doctor who was not severe.’ “But how can he understand how I live?” He says.

Kabandugama shares his struggle for weight loss with patients. “To dispel the myth that weight management is as simple as eating too much or not exercising. It involves the distortion of emotions and hormones, some beyond our control. “I hope this sharing allows me to connect more with my patients so they know that even their healthcare professional is going through the same challenges as they do.”

“Patients are more likely to change behavior when doctors support, have had similar experiences, talk about their stories,” said Bentin Bennett, MD, an obesity researcher and associate professor of medicine at Johns ounce Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Do patients respect overweight doctors?

While Gendreau և Cabandugama lost weight, some doctors who wanted to lose unwanted weight could not do so. What effect does this have on patients?

Doctors are sometimes biased towards overweight patients, but few studies have examined whether patients are biased towards overweight doctors. Outcomes vary են may depend on whether patients are overweight or not.

A random online survey of 358 participants found that people, regardless of their own weight, were biased toward gaining a doctor’s weight. They considered overweight or obese doctors to be less reliable, which could lead participants to refuse their medical advice and change doctors.

“Patients expect physicians who provide health care to do their utmost to care for their health and well-being,” said Pamela Peak, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Baltimore, Maryland.

“I am a doctor who believes that you should walk with a speech. “The best teachers are the ones who live by it,” he said.

Still! “I do not think it is possible to conclude from this one experimental study that overweight doctors are harming patients’ efforts to change their behavior,” said Bennett, who did not participate in the study.

“I think patients often want to contact their doctor on a more individual level, but without a history of where the advice comes from, patients can hardly trust a provider who seems to contradict the messages,” he said.

The study, which helped connect Bennett, found that patients were not biased toward overweight doctors if they needed to lose weight themselves. A national survey of 600 overweight patients found that 87% trusted the over-the-counter dietary advice of overweight primary care physicians, while 77% trusted the dietary advice of overweight physicians.

“This shows that patients trusted doctors like them more, which can lead to better relationships. “We know from race research that patients often trust doctors of the same race as them,” said Bennett.

End Endron says that when he was obese, some patients questioned whether to trust his weight loss advice.

“It was very uncomfortable when they turned to me and said, ‘What about you?’ “I would say that it is my job to inform them about the dangers to their health,” he said.

Nearly half of physicians (48%) reported trying to lose weight, according to the 2021 Medscape Physician Lifestyle Happiness Report. As a result, many doctors may find themselves in a situation where they seem to be advising “to do what I say, not what I do.”

According to a survey conducted by Gelesis in December 2020, 3 out of 5 Americans are trying to lose weight.

Should doctors pay more attention to health?

Physicians have a moral obligation to maintain their health and well-being so that they can provide safe and effective medical care. If they do not have a healthy lifestyle, it is necessary to make adjustments, advises the Code of Ethics of the American Medical Association.

Peeke agrees with AMA. “We signed to do that. We have to avoid stealing time, even if it is only 15 minutes when we hide and eat the healthy lunch we brought with us, ”he says.

End Endro offers busy doctors to do what he did.

“I started by bringing healthy snacks, small Ziploc bags filled with mixed nuts, berries, and expanded from there. That way, if I was hungry or stressed in my patients, I would have easy access to some nutrients, ”he says.

Peeke suggests making protein cocktails or berry smoothies that are low in sugar.

“These can keep you full for hours as you swallow their patients,” says End Endron.

Convincing Busy doctors that they can make lifestyle changes can be difficult. Sixty-five percent of those who responded to the Doctors’ Lifestyle և Happiness Report said they sometimes, rarely or never focus on their health: health. Only 45% said they ate a healthy diet and 65% said they exercised.

“Self-medication is not a priority for most doctors because they teach us to take care of others, to put them first,” says End Endron. “Like many doctors, I had many other priorities – family, friends, career. Besides, the last year of my medical school was so difficult that graduating was my priority. I put my health aside and told myself I could fix it later. ”

According to only 1 in 5 medical schools, students are required to take nutrition courses, says David Eisenberg, MD, of Harvard University. Additional Food Associate Professor, Chan School of Public Health.

“I did not get an ounce of nutrition, that’s why I became a Pew Foundation scientist in the field of food and metabolism. I had to leave my traditional courses, ”says Pick.

“Doctors are not properly trained to conduct the behavioral counseling and motivational interviews that are needed,” says Bennett. “We are doing a good job of diagnosing obesity based on body mass index to understand the link to future health conditions. But most doctors struggle with both the lack of time and the skills to make significant behavioral changes. ”

“The school curriculum is very much focused on the pathology of obesity, not the proper diet and exercise routine,” says Gendro. “My medical patients often tell me that they do not have their own education in the field of nutrition, which can affect their weight loss path, what they teach their patients.”

Gendreau, considering his weight loss journey as well as his obesity medicine association, says his confidence in discussing weight loss with patients has increased.

Reconstructing obesity as a chronic disease

Instead of criticizing overweight people, including doctors, for their personal health choices, thinking about weight or obesity as a chronic illness is a better approach, says Bennett.

“If we understand that obesity is a chronic health condition that people struggle with, we can empathize with them,” she says, advising more providers to share their weight loss journeys with patients they recommend. gives a lifestyle that can help solve և restore. possible biases.

WebMD Health News:


Kevin Gendreau, MD, Weight Loss Doctor, Southcoast Health, Fall River, MA.

Peminda Kabandugama, Physician, Endocrinologist, Obesity Medicine, Truman Medical Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Wendy Bennett, MD, MPH, Obesity Researcher, Associate Professor of Medicine, Sons Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Pamela Pick, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Gelezis. “A new study has found that 71 million Americans have gained weight during the epidemic.”

American Medical Association. “Opinion of the Code of Medical Ethics 9.3.1.”

David Eisenberg, Ph.D., Harvard T. Chan Public Health School.

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