The impact of physician weight discussion on weight loss in US adults

Andrew C. Pool, Jennifer L. Kraschnewski, Lindsay A. Cover, Erik B. Lehman, Heather L. Stuckey, Kevin O. Hwang, Kathryn I. Pollak, Christopher N. Sciamanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Problem The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States and worldwide is at epidemic levels. Physicians may play a vital role in addressing this epidemic. We aimed to examine the association of a physician's discussion of patients' weight status with self-reported weight loss. We hypothesized that physician discussion of patients' being overweight is associated with increased weight loss in patients with overweight and obesity. Methods Data analysis of participants (n = 5054) in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) in 2005-2008 the main outcome was rates of self-reported weight loss and the association with physicians' discussion of their patients' weight status. Results Overweight and obese participants were significantly more likely to report a 5% weight loss in the past year if their doctor had told them they were overweight (adjusted OR (AOR) 1.88; 95% CI 1.45-2.44; AOR 1.79; 95% CI 1.30-2.46, respectively). Conclusions Physicians' direct discussion of their patients' weight status is associated with clinically significant patient weight loss and may be a targetable intervention. Further studies are needed to determine if increasing physician discussion of patients' weight status leads to significant weight loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e131-e139
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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