Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
  |  Connect with Us: 
Text Size

Health News

Fewer U.S. Patients Getting Weight Counseling From Doctors

Fewer U.S. Patients Getting Weight Counseling From Doctors


THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that an increasing number of Americans are overweight and obese, there's been a decrease in weight counseling offered by primary care doctors, according to a new study.

Researchers examined national data and found that slightly more than 6 percent of patient visits with primary care providers in 2007 to 2008 included weight counseling, which is 46 percent lower than in 1995 to 1996.

This decrease in weight counseling occurred even though the percentage of adults who were overweight or obese increased from about 52 percent in 1995 to 63 percent in 2008, the Penn State College of Medicine researchers said.

"It is striking that the odds of weight loss counseling declined by 41 percent, with only 29.9 percent of obese patients receiving counseling in 2007-2008, given the substantial increases in the rates of overweight and obesity during that time," study author Dr. Jennifer Kraschnewski, an assistant professor of medicine, said in a Penn State news release.

The researchers also found that the likelihood of receiving weight counseling fell 46 percent for patients with high blood pressure and 59 percent for those with diabetes, according to the study in the journal Medical Care.

"People with these conditions stand the most to gain from the weight counseling," Kraschnewski said in the news release.

Possible reasons for the decrease in weight counseling include time limitations during medical appointments, and doctors' doubts that patients can change their habits or the belief that they don't have the proper training to provide lifestyle counseling, the researchers suggested.

"There are many additional competing demands in the outpatient care between study years, including an increase in chronic illnesses, a focus on quality improvement and use of electronic health records," Kraschnewski said. "Although visit duration has actually increased over the study time period, the number of items addressed during clinic visits has increased substantially more, suggesting less time is available to provide counseling."

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute outlines ways to treat obesity.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


Latest News

CNY Brain Aneurysm Awareness Campaign Raises Funds for Crouse Neuroscience Institute
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >