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Obesity has become a major health issue in America, and there has been a push to encourage individuals to have more open discussions about their weight with their doctor. This may be easier said than done, however, as a new study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that physicians who are overweight are less likely to discuss obesity with their patients.
The researchers found that physicians with a normal body mass index (BMI) are more likely to talk to their overweight patients about weight loss, and diagnose individuals as obese. They are also more likely to offer diet and exercise counseling. However, physicians with a high BMI had greater confidence in prescribing weight loss medications.
"Physician self-efficacy to care for obese patients, regardless of their BMI, may be improved by targeting physician well-being and enhancing the quality of obesity-related training in medical school, residency or continuing medical education," said researcher Sara Bleich, Ph.D.
These results suggest that physicians may want to question if their own weight is influencing the diagnoses they make for their patients.
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