Most doctors counsel weight loss in vain

October 5th, 2010 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 5 (IANS) Most doctors are spending a good deal of time counselling their patients about diet and weight loss, but in vain or so it seems.

Duke University Medical Center researchers in the US recorded the conversations between 40 primary care physicians and 461 of their overweight or obese patients over an 18-month period.

Investigators didn’t tell them what they were listening for - only that they wanted to record the encounters to see how doctors talked about health, reports the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Turns out, doctors talk about weight quite a bit. Physicians discussed weight with patients in 69 percent of the encounters.

“We found that on average, physicians spent about three-and-a-half minutes talking about diet and weight loss,” said study leader Kathryn Pollak with the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Centre, according to a Duke release.

“That may not sound like much, but it amounts to about 15 percent of the time of the average office visit, which ran about 20 minutes.”

But the data showed that there was no difference in weight loss between those patients who received counseling and those who did not get it.

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