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New Study Says Discussing Weight Loss Encourages Weight Loss

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New Study Says Discussing Weight Loss Encourages Weight Loss

March 10, 2010

By Amanda Dolan for Diabetes1

Overweight patients with type 2 who have frequent, weight-specific conversations with their doctor are more likely to engage in healthy weight loss routines. A recent study from the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, San Diego set out to look at the relationship between weight management perceptions of patients with type 2 diabetes and what they were recommended by their doctors. The study focused on the psychological perceptions of “weight loss” and how important patients considered it in light of what their health care provider had recommended. A study of 575 overweight adults with type 2 diabetes took a survey based on discussions they had with their doctor and what they perceived about their own need to lose weight.

Results showed that, for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30, there was little misperception. Less than 10% of the participants had misunderstood their need to lose weight. For overweight patients with a BMI less than 30, there was more confusion. About 47% were not certain of their need to lose weight. And, for 68% of these patients, their health care providers did not seem to endorse the importance of weight loss frequently. The majority of participants, about 72%, said that their doctors had advised them to lose weight and about 59% discussed their weight at most doctor’s visits.

The biggest issue, it seems, was that sometimes patients were not advised with specific recommendations. Many of the patients were not informed that certain diabetes medications might make weight management difficult. But, when health care providers directly discussed these issues and were specific, there was overall less confusion and more patients understood the importance of weight loss. In addition, when doctors were more specific, patients were more likely to work toward weight management and weight loss.

This study shows that, while the majority of type 2 diabetes patients are aware of how important it is for them to lose weight, health care providers need to make sure to be actively engaged in conversations about weight loss and make targeted, understandable recommendations. The more likely they are to speak directly about weight loss, the more likely patients are to work on it.

It would be beneficial for patients to be educated on their own then go to the doctor with questions thereafter. If you are concerned about how to go about losing weight, or any other health questions, you should be proactive and speak up with his or her doctor. To get the very best care that patients deserve, you should be prepared ahead of time. Write down a list of questions before you go to the doctor and be ready to jot down answers. The more specific you are, the more answers you will get.  

Source: PubMed

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