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Study Finds Obese Doctors Less Likely To Diagnose Obesity

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Bathroom Scale. (AP)

Bathroom Scale. (AP)

PattiRiesing20100909_KCBS_0309 Patti Reising
Reporter and anchor Patti Reising joined KCBS in 1995 after working as...
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CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — One of the keys in fighting the battle of the bulge may lie in the waistline of your doctor.  A new study that looked at the weight of both doctors and their patients found obese doctors were less likely to diagnose obesity in their patients.

Researcher Sara Bleich, who is an assistant professor of Health Policy at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wondered what happens when the adult doctor and patient are both overweight and if people would take weight loss advice from a chubby doctor, so she surveyed 500 physicians to find out.

KCBS’ Patti Reising Reports:

“Statistically speaking it is normal in this country to be in the overweight or obese category, Bleich said.

That’s about 66 percent of adults, according to Bleich, putting the U.S.in the midst of an obesity epidemic.

“If a patient walks into the office they may look like the physician. They may be in the overweight or obese category. The physician may think, ‘this patient looks like me. I don’t have a problem, they don’t have a problem. Let me focus on something like their diabetes or their hypertension’.”

Bleich explained that the biggest predictor of getting weight-related counseling is having an obesity problem in the first place and that healthier patients might start with healthier doctors.

(Copyright 2012 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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