The study showed that doctors may not help much in weight loss!

The study found that GPs, who provide useless information to many of their overweight patients, are perpetuating diet myths.

Family doctors rely too much on “unscientific” advice, often telling people to simply “eat less,” according to an analysis of 159 GP consultation reports.

The researchers say GPs, who may lack knowledge and confidence when it comes to weight loss advice, or who worry about offending people, are also perpetuating “myths” about the subject.

These include that people need to “think smart” in order to lose weight, or that small behavioral changes, such as cutting calories a little, “taking more stairs” or doing more exercise without dieting, can lead to weight loss. .

Researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge analyzed 159 audio recordings of GP consultations in the UK asking doctors to provide “brief weight loss interventions” to obese patients. These are short conversations designed to help people change their lifestyle and reduce their risk of serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Only four consultations conducted for a single study between June 2013 and December 2014 provided a reason or rationale for the type of advice they gave to patients.

Everything else was “abstract advice without explanation, justification, or evidence.” One example given by a general practitioner about how to lose weight was: “I think some specific basic things can help – like first identifying that you really want to do something about it.”

The researchers concluded: “Our analysis suggests that clinicians often do not provide effective advice, so even if patients follow the advice, they are unlikely to lose weight.”

Study senior author Dr Charlotte Albury, from Nuffield Primary Health Care at the University of Oxford, said: “This study is important because it highlights that obese people are receiving messages that they can lose weight simply by consuming less.” likely to be effective. We need better guidance and education to help GPs make sure messages are based on science and not myths.”

The guide recommends that general practitioners take every opportunity to talk to people who are obese, as even small talk can help you lose weight.

More than two-thirds of adults in the UK are overweight or obese, making this a national crisis.

The study found that the GP’s advice on diet and exercise was mostly “general” and independent of the person’s knowledge or lifestyle, although patients say this approach is not helpful.

An example of general advice would be asking a doctor to ask a patient to “reduce carbohydrate intake.”

But even when GPs were more specific, the researchers found that their advice was very varied, often lacking evidence and “superficial”, such as telling someone “they should change their lifestyle a bit.”

Source: Daily Mail