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Good Physician Relationships May Help You Lose the Most Weight, Study Says

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People who consider their physicians helpful may have the most success in losing weight, according to a recent survey from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Researchers looked at data from more than 300 people in a clinical weight loss trial, finding that people who were very satisfied with their primary care doctor's support lost about twice as much weight as people who didn't feel this way about their doctors.

"The findings could inform the development of weight loss programs that give primary care physicians a starring role," a press release on the study stated.

The problem with doctors and weight loss

Previous studies have shown that overweight patients are more likely to report having a poor relationship with their doctors, possibly because they experience judgment or a decreased sense of respect from these physicians, the researchers said.

However, the current study found that doctors who explained things clearly, listened to their patients, and become involved in the weight loss process were more likely to have patients who actually lost weight.

Patients who gave their physicians the highest ratings on "helpfulness" lost an average of 11 pounds, while patients who rated their physicians as not very helpful lost just over 5 pounds, on average.

While many commercial weight loss programs do involve medical supervision, patients often join these types of programs without telling their primary care physicans, said Dr. Wendy L. Bennet, study author.

"Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss," Bennet said.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine