Healthy Living

Want To Lose Weight? Find A Great Doctor

How supportive your physician is could play a huge role in weight loss.

Having a good relationship with your doctor could be key to weight loss, according to a new study.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University interviewed 347 obesity patients who had spent two years working with health coaches and were supervised by their primary care physicians.

The patients were asked to fill out a survey rating how often their doctor explained things clearly, how carefully they listened and showed respect and how helpful their physicians' involvement was during the period.

Patients who gave their doctors high "helpfulness" ratings lost about 11 pounds, while patients who gave their physicians low "helpfulness" rating lost about five pounds.

"Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss," researcher Wendy L. Bennett said.

As Dietitian Manuel Villacorta pointed out in a HuffPost blog, doctors can be incredibly influential in inspiring change.

"Healthcare providers have the power to inspire people to change," he wrote.

"Remember when smoking was our biggest health concern? Researchers found that doctors who had a talk (even a brief one) with smokers saw more of their patients kick the habit. We should use the same approach to address the obesity epidemic, and providers simply need to start talking to those who should lose weight."

Of course, more research needs to be conducted on this topic -- but it's good to know that doctors can play such a crucial role in weight loss.

The study was published in the journal Patient Education and Counseling.

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