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Stop asking your doctor for weight loss help

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Doctors fall short on education about obesity prevention, study finds.

We hear it over and over again. Speak with our doctor about a weight loss program. It turns out and analysis of medical licensing questions shows doctors know very little about obesity management or prevention.


A study published Dec. 29 in the journal Teaching and Learning in Medicine found doctors aren't taught about how to prevent or manage obesity.

Conversely, if you're sick from being overweight, your doctor can probably help.

Dr. Robert Kushner who led the study said in a media release doctors aren't being taught about obesity prevention because it isn't being tested. The finding is mind-blowing considering 40 percent of adults and 20 percent of children are obese in the U.S.

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Global estimates from the World Health Organization found 39 percent of the world's adult population to be obese as of 2014.

Researchers looked at obesity-related quuesiont on the three United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) exams administered to all first year residents and medical students. They found only a limited number of questions addressed obesitiy prevention and management.

See: Color Coding for weight loss

The study authors are recommending obesity related experts be added to the medical licensing panel to help get physicians up to snuff about obesity prevention and treatment. Until then, don't give up. There are plenty of other tools available and well worth exploring for effective and sustained weight loss.