Andrea K. Walker
12:22 PM EST, January 26, 2012
If you're overweight and trying to lose pounds you may not get help from your doctor if he is overweight too, according to new research.
According to a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, physicians with a normal body mass index were more likely than overweight doctors to engage their obese patients in weight loss discussions.
Normal weight doctors were also more likely to diagnose a patient as obese if they perceived the patient's BMI was equal too or larger than their own.
The results are featured in the January issue of Obesity.
"Physicians with normal BMI also have greater confidence in their ability to provide diet and exercise counseling and perceive their weight loss advice as trustworthy when compared to overweight or obese physicians," Sara Bleich, lead author of the study and an assistant professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management, said in a statement. "In addition, obese physicians had greater confidence in prescribing weight loss medications and were more likely to report success in helping patients lose weight."
The study looked at 500 physicians and how they diagnosed patients. Those with a self-reported BMI below 25 kg/m2 were considered to be of normal weight and physicians reporting a BMI at or above 25 kg/m2 were considered overweight or obese.
The research was supported by in part by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Health Resources and Services Administration.
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