Physicians and Overweight Americans in Denial About Treatment
America! Obesity is a health risk. Overweight people run a higher rate
of premature death from all causes, but especially from heart disease
and cancer, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study.
doctors of overweight Americans are failing to bring up the topic of
weight loss with their patients and if they do, they fail to recommend
comprehensive treatment programs of diet, exercise, behavioral
modification and medication when appropriate, according to the national
"Talk to Your Doctor" survey.
Americans may see the threat as real, but they don't believe it applies
to them personally," said Barbara J. Moore, Ph.D., president and CEO of
Shape up America! "We are failing to personalize the serious health
threats people face when they carry excess weight as fat. It is similar
to smokers who know cigarettes can kill, but are sure they will never
The survey polled significantly overweight Americans who are at risk for obesity-related illnesses and premature death.
Below are some important findings from the study:
- Almost seven out of 10 seriously overweight Americans believe their health is not at risk because of their excess weight.
- Of the 44
percent who have discussed weight loss with their physician, two out of
three had to bring the topic up first — not the doctor.
doctors (82 percent) did little more than suggest their patients get
more exercise to manage their weight. Only 17 percent of respondents
indicated their physicians recommended drug therapy to help them lose
weight, 80 percent of the time without explaining the differences
between FDA-approved prescription medications.
For more information, visit the Shape Up America! Web site, www.shapeup.org.