Would you be offended if your doctor told you that you are overweight and need to lose weight? A new study has revealed that General Practitioners (GPs) have been wrong to think that trying to intervene in their patients’ weight loss programs would be ineffective or even offensive. The study even showed that only 0.2% of people would find the intervention inappropriate and unhelpful. The remaining 99.8% would appreciate their doctor’s intervention and recommendation on this matter.
But more importantly, the intervention, which took just 30 seconds, resulted in a 10% reduction in weight, while the control group was able to experience only a 5% reduction in weight; that is half of what the test group experienced. What was even more reassuring about the effectiveness of this intervention was the fact that there was no significant difference between the test and the control group, as far as attempts to lose weight over the test period were concerned.
And yet, the group where the physician came out boldly and pointed out that the individual had a weight issue and then went on to recommend a free 12-week weight management program provided by the NHS lost 3.2lbs more than the control group.
This figure would have been even higher had all the participants taken their doctors’ advice and participated in the weight management programs. Only three-quarters of those offered the intervention decided to take part in the weight loss programs their doctors suggested.
One weight loss program that doctors often recommend is Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers is one of the few diet programs the effectiveness of which has been shown in several university research publications. You can learn about it here: www.lodlois.com/weight-watchers-promotional-code.
The particular study involved 1882 people and 137 General Practitioners and was led by the University of Oxford (UK). Half of the group (942 people) received the 30-second intervention while the other half did not. A whopping 81% (1530) of all people in the study thought the intervention was appropriate and helpful.
Also noteworthy was the fact that five times more people had taken effective weight loss action in the group that received the intervention in comparison to the control group. In preparation for the study, the GPs had to participate in a 90-minute training program that equipped them with the skills and confidence to intervene in their patients’ weight loss efforts.
Besides the weight loss benefits of this program, the cost saving implications were also quite compelling. For instance, making the recommendation would only cost about $1, while the community weight loss program would cost about $10 per pound, which is much cheaper than using weight loss prescriptions.
The program could also have benefits beyond weight loss. For instance, a similar intervention among smokers could result in a higher number of people quitting the unhealthy habit. Specific prescriptions about exercise, and other lifestyle changes that could result in better health, improved fitness, and more promising weight loss outcomes could also report higher success if a similar approach was used.
Doctor intervention is a crucial component to managing a patient’s health consistently. Patient’s often aren’t aware of just how bad their lifestyle is, are in denial about it or are too embarrassed to bring it up themselves. To most effectively care for their patient’s health, proactive doctors who are actively examining all aspects of a patient’s health rather than just responding to their complaints, have a greater effect.