Is Your Doctor Really Helping You Lose Weight?

If you’re trying to lose weight, your doctor can be a hindrance — or, a new study found, a big help. Plus, if your doctor does give advice about losing weight, the type of advice matters. And if your doctor is empathetic about how hard it is to lose weight, you are likely to be more successful, the researchers found.

“This study shows that doctors can be helpful in assisting their patients to lose weight, but they have to counsel their patients in a very specific way,” says Gary Bennett, PhD, professor of psychology at Duke University and the study’s senior author. “They can’t just give generic advice.” Instead, he found that the more specific the advice and recommendations, the more successful the weight loss.

Empathy translated to pounds shed, too. “Patients respond to physicians who really show a lot of care and concern, and especially for something that is difficult like weight loss,” he says. The study is published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Excerpted from WebMD

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