Many doctors don’t discuss diet with obese patients


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With the nation’s high rates of obesity and the low odds of weight loss, perhaps weary doctors are just giving up. National statistics show that only about half of obese Americans were advised by their doctors to cut down on fatty foods. The rate, from a 2006 survey, has not changed from a survey taken in 2002.

The data, from the recently released 2009 National Healthcare Disparities Report, found that doctors discussed food choices with 52% of their obese white patients compared to 45% of obese blacks and 42% of obese Latinos.


Poor adults and less-educated people were less likely to be told to cut down on high-fat and high-cholesterol foods. The report notes that any obese person would likely benefit from counseling about diet and exercise. It would be interesting to see a survey of doctors on why they would choose not to discuss diet with an obese patient. Do they feel it’s useless?

-- Shari Roan