A new study suggests that, if you’re looking to lose weight, getting regular guidance from your physician can help.
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The study, which involved roughly 350 obese people participating in a federally funded weight loss clinical trial, was led by Wendy L. Bennett and a team of health researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Bennett and her colleagues examined data from John Hopkins’ Practice-based Opportunities for Weight Reduction study, which lasted two years.
Bennett’s team discovered that the obese patients who worked with their primary care physicians to develop a weight loss plan fared better in their efforts than those who did not seek the help of a doctor. The study also revealed that the obese participants who rated their doctors highest in terms of “helpfulness” lost more weight than those who rated their physicians lower in this way.
Bennett hopes the study will prompt more patients and their physicians to team up in the fight against obesity. Bennett also hopes that people struggling with obesity will tell their doctors when they need help losing weight; currently, many Americans participate in commercially run weight loss programs and fail to tell their physicians about it.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than one-third of all American adults are obese–it’s a major health issue that could prove costly for all residents of the United States.
“This trial supports other evidence that providers are very important in their patients’ weight loss efforts,” Bennett says.
“Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss,” she added.