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Obese patients more likely to respond to advice from overweight physicians

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who are overweight or obese are frequently asked by healthcare providers to undergo cholesterol tests and other screenings to observe the impact that their weight may be having on their bodily function.

While the results of these tests can help people begin to make more informed decisions about their personal habits, if patients opt not to follow the recommendations of doctors, they may be jeopardizing their personal health and wellness.

Adherence to the suggestions of healthcare professionals is a crucial component of medical guidelines, and in a recent study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, researchers found that overweight or obese patients are more likely to follow medical advice from physicians who are themselves overweight or obese.

"With respect to overall trust, our results suggest that overweight and obese patients trust their primary care physicians, regardless of their body weight," said Sara Bleich, Ph.D., associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management. "However, with respect to trust in weight-related advice, we found that patients more strongly trusted diet advice from overweight primary care physicians as compared to normal BMI primary care physicians."

Analyzing a cross-section of 600 overweight and obese patients, the researchers were able to calculate the level of trust that patients felt in their healthcare providers and found that BMI impacted the confidence they had in the advice.

More importantly, it reduced the stigma felt by individuals regarding their own weights and their willingness to approach conversations in an open and straightforward manner.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the country are overweight or obese. Being obese may increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, Type 2 diabetes and other medical issues.

If a person is impacted by a cardiovascular or similar disease and is also overweight or obese, a lab test can help one determine the quality of personal wellness.

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