Many overweight and obese patients in hospital emergency departments don’t believe their weight poses health risks, and many say doctors have never told them otherwise, according to a University of Florida study.
Researchers asked 450 random patients in a Florida hospital emergency department two questions: Do you believe your present weight is unhealthy, and has a doctor ever said you are overweight? Of those reporting that their weight was unhealthy, only 19 percent said they’d ever discussed it with a doctor. And only 30 percent of those who reported being told by their doctor that their weight was unhealthy agreed with that opinion. Researchers also measured body mass index and waist circumference, indicators of body fat. About 47 percent of obese and overweight men said they believed their weight was problematic; 53 percent didn’t.
“People generally hear what they want to hear,” say boomer generation health experts Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, authors of the new book TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH). “Today, anyone who thinks being obese is not a health risk is kidding themselves.”
“I’m sure the patients have been told of the risks of obesity, and the doctors may have just given up due to their advice falling on deaf ears,” adds Tom Griesel. “Also, most doctors have not been trained in nutrition, and many are overweight or obese themselves. They are not setting a good example, and they have no useful advice other than ‘you need to lose weight.’”
“Obese people often associate with other obese or overweight people, so they do not notice anything unusual after awhile,” says Dian Griesel. “Also, with 30%+ of the population obese at this point, obese people are a common sight. This may help overweight and obese individuals justify that their condition is normal and not a problem.”