A study published in the journal Obesity found that overweight or obese doctors — doctors with high percent body fat — discussed weight loss (fat loss) with patients just 18% of the time, according to the Wall Street Journal (1/20/12). That’s compared with 30% of the time among normal-weight (normal percent body fat) doctors
The study’s author, Sara Bleich, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says, “Supporting physicians in their efforts to eat more healthfully, exercise and maintain a healthy weight could not only help doctors, but as this study suggests, might also indirectly help their patients.”
Wow! Go figure?
Now we know doctors are also human and subject to the same kind of denial mechanisms as you and me. Shrinks often refer to this behavior as “differential association.” It means an emotional or psychological denial of facts or circumstances to avoid personal and or emotional conflicts or shame.
The good news is that Bleich suggests that electronic medical records be utilized to identify obese patients rather than leaving it up to the physician to do so.