The obesity epidemic in the United States continues to dominate headlines. A recent Los Angeles Times story raises the question whether or not you can trust your doctor to tell you the truth about your weight. According to the article a doctor who is overweight is less likely to counsel his own patients concerning their issues with obesity. The findings were based on a study that was conducted at Johns Hopkins University and published in the Journal of Obesity. The study found that normal-BMI doctors were more likely to talk to their obese patients about weight loss (30% versus 18%). They were also more likely to give advice on diet (53% versus 37%) and exercise (56% versus 38%). In one of the most stunning figures in the paper, however, the probability that a normal-weight doctor actually recording an obesity diagnosis for an obese patient was 93%. For overweight or obese doctors, it was just 7%. It is anybody’s guess as to whether or not this is a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees; but, it does support the discussion that patients are ultimately responsible for their own health and should not expect the doctor to initiate the conversation when it comes to their weight. Dr. O’Toole is committed to patient health and in some cases must share the information with patients who are considering body contouring procedures including abdominoplasty and liposuction that they are not a candidate if they are obese. While this conversation may not be pleasant, it is the right thing to do to ensure that the expectation of patients is met. Patients can expect the best results for body contouring procedures when they are the closest to their ideal body weight. Exercise and proper diet for a lifetime helps to ensure that the results will continue to improve.
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