Ask your doctor if you are fat, really

A conversation with your doctor could help you control your weight
photo: mconnors
According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who are overweight or obese repeatedly dismiss comments and concerns about their weight when it comes from spouses, friends, and family members.  However, if a doctor weighs in on the subject, they are likely to listen and take action.

And we thought respect for authority was dead.

Researchers believe people have difficulty seeing they are overweight because they are surrounded by overweight peers.  One's weight can also be an emotionally charged subject that is not easily stomached when facilitated by a spouse or family member.

But few physicians actually broach the topic of weight with their patients.  According to the study, only 6% of overweight and 3% of obese patients reported having a weight related discussion with their doctors.  Given the obesity epidemic in this country, these statistics are shocking.  The government estimates that $150 billion is spent annually on obesity related health issues.

What can you do?

  1. Take charge of your health.  If you think you are overweight, you may be.  Calculate your BMI using the BMI calculator, available on the CDC site. People with a BMI of 25 or greater are considered overweight.  Those with a BMI of 30 or greater are considered obese. 
  2. Set up an appointment with your physician and ask him for his advice.  After all, your physician is an objective, medical expert.  You pay him, not your mother-in-law, for his knowledge and expertise.     

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