If you suspect that an overweight physician is less likely to advise overweight patients to shape up, you’re right. A new study from Johns Hopkins found that physicians with a normal body mass index (BMI) are much more likely to discuss weight loss with patients who need to drop excess pounds than are doctors who are overweight or obese.
The researchers found that 30 percent of the normal weight physicians they surveyed reported discussing weighty matters with patients, compared to only 18 percent of the overweight physicians responding. What’s more, they found that 93 percent of the normal weight physicians were likely to diagnose a patient as obese if they perceived that the patient’s BMI met or exceeded their own.
About half of the doctors surveyed were overweight or obese (based on the BMI they reported to the researchers). To arrive at its conclusions, the Hopkins team surveyed a cross section of 500 primary care physicians nationwide.