The causes of obesity which may impact the advice doctors give their patients were viewed by them. A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who compared the relationship between primary care physicians' beliefs about the causes of obesity with the frequency of nutritional counseling came up with these findings. They found that physicians who believed over consumption of food to be a major contributor to obesity were significantly more likely to counsel their patients to modify nutritional habits. The results are featured in the February 2013 issue of Preventive Medicine.
"Our study found that primary care physicians, who believed that overeating was a very important cause of obesity had significantly greater odds of counseling their obese patients to reduce portion sizes, avoid high-calorie ingredients when cooking and reduce sugar-sweetened beverage intake. Similarly, primary care physicians who associate sugar-sweetened beverage consumption as a primary cause of obesity were significantly more likely to advise their patients to cut back on sugary beverages such as soda and juices," said Sara Bleich, PhD, lead author of the study and an associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management. "Improved primary care physician education related to the causes of obesity may be a feasible strategy for increasing the frequency of nutritional counseling--particularly concrete dietary tips that primary care physicians can easily share with their patients."
"Eighty-six percent of primary care physicians indicated that overconsumption of food is a very important cause of obesity, followed by 62 percent of physicians reporting that restaurant or fast food eating is a very important cause and 60 percent attributing consuming sugar sweetened beverages as a very important cause," noted Bleich. Few physicians reported genetics, family history or metabolic defect as an important cause of obesity.
"Do physician beliefs about causes of obesity translate into actionable issues on which physicians counsel their patients?" was written by Sara N. Bleich, Kimberly A. Gudzune, Wendy L. Bennett and Lisa A. Cooper.