Overweight patients more likely to trust diet advice from overweight doctors

When it comes to taking diet advice from a physician, size matters.

A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins University schools of public health and medicine examined the impact of primary care physician BMI (body mass index) on their patients' trust and perceptions of weight-related stigma. They found that overweight and obese patients trust weight-related counseling from overweight physicians more than normal weight physicians, and that patients seeing an obese primary care physician were more likely to perceive weight-related stigma. The results of their research are featured online in the June issue of Preventive Medicine.

"With respect to overall trust, our results suggest that overweight and obese patients trust their primary care physicians, regardless of their body weight," said Sara Bleich, associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management. "However, with respect to trust in weight-related advice, we found that patients more strongly trusted diet advice from overweight primary care physicians as compared to normal BMI primary care physicians. In addition, we found that patient perceptions of weight-related stigma increased with physician BMI. Patients seeing obese primary care physicians, as compared to normal BMI physicians, were significantly more likely to report feeling judged because of their weight."

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Tagged obesity