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Physicians Recommendation Leads to Weight Loss



Even though providers often find it difficult to speak with their patients about their weight, a new study shows that a physician recommendation is effective in achieving weight loss results. The study, published in the Journal of Economics & Human Biology, showed that patients who were recommended to lose weight by their physician lost more weight on average compared to patients of doctors who didn’t provide this recommendation.

Sometimes the best advice is advice that is hard to hear. The weight loss discussion can be uncomfortable for both the physician and the patient. As a result, this necessary conversation is often avoided during a doctor’s appointment. However, this study shows that, while awkward, the recommendation can lead to promising results.

The study’s author, Joshua Berning, offers advice of his own, “Physicians often don’t take the time to consult patients about being overweight. They need to take the opportunity to interact with their patients. Through an open dialogue, patients can find solutions to their health issues, especially in terms of obesity.”

With health related matters, physicians are in the perfect position make recommendations and suggestions on ways for their patient to lead a healthier lifestyle, including weight loss. When receiving advice, often the importance we place on the information depends on the source of the actual advice. This study clearly shows that physicians can influence patients to take action on their weight loss advice.

 

Robard Corporation provides extensive tools to assist medical providers with speaking with patients about their weight. Complete our provider form and a representative will contact you about your needs.

Source: University of Georgia


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Are New Policies Affecting Obesity?



From regulations on soda to food establishments posting nutritional information, there have been numerous attempts of changes in policy and our environment to either stymie or reverse the trend of obesity. However, the question still remains: Is it working? Drexel University decided to seek out the answer to this question by observing “natural experiments” where researchers compared people’s calorie consumption and physical activity before and after policy implementation, or compared their results with a similar group not affected by the change. Some of the results were: 

DIET & FOOD POLICY CHANGES

Changes with strong impacts were ones that improved the nutritional quality of foods: 

  • Trans-fat bans
  • Sugary food and beverage availability limits
  • Higher-fat food availability limits 

Changes that had smaller or no impacts in the research to date included:

  • Nutritional information requirements
  • Supermarkets built in underserved areas

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOCUSED CHANGES

Changes with stronger impacts included:

  • Active transportation infrastructure improvements
  • Changes studied after longer-term follow-up periods

More research is needed to look at physical activity effects (not just use of amenities) for built environment changes including:

  • Park improvements
  • Trails
  • Active transportation infrastructure

More studies need to done; The results showed that changes studied after long-term follow-up periods yielded the biggest impact.  Although there could be tangible changes due to these policies, it still remains uncertain if the changes can provide assistance in the battle against obesity. However, it’s ultimately up to the individual and how they react to these policies and environmental changes. But it’s interesting to see what is nudging us in the right direction. 

Source: Drexel University



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Watch What You Eat, DON’T Eat What You Watch



Much of what we see on TV is for entertainment and shouldn't be seen as things we act out in real life. Who would have thought that one of those things is cooking? Food television networks often produce exquisite dishes prepared by professionals and amateurs, but when we bring these dishes out of the television and into our kitchen it can add to your waistline. 

A recent University of Vermont study of women aged 20 to 35 showed that women who recreate dishes they viewed on food-related television shows had a higher body mass index (BMI) and weighed on average 10 pounds more compared to women that gathered their food information from sources such as friends and family, magazines, or cooking classes.   

Why is this? According to co-author of the study, Brian Wansink, the dishes we see on food-related networks, “are not the healthiest and allow you to feel like it's OK to prepare and indulge in either less nutritious food or bigger portions.”

Do you know how many calories was in the last dish you saw made on food-related television? Me neither. We don’t really see the nutritional value that any of these prepared dishes have, we just know that it looks (and most likely tastes) good. But one thing we have learned with a level of certainty is taste, although important, isn’t the most crucial factor in preparing a healthy meal — a factor that we may neglect while admiring the dish. 

So where does this leave the food networks? Do they have a responsibility to prepare healthier meals? Or is it the viewer’s responsibility to be mindful of the dishes they see on TV and understand that they may not be the best choice to base a diet on? Maybe it’s a combination of the two. What do you think?

Source: University of Vermont



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