16 Dec New Study Highlights Flaws In Weight Loss Advice From GPs
New research has shed light on the specific weight loss advice being given to patients by their GPs. A study published in Family Practice set out to understand the guidance patients were receiving from their doctor when it came to losing weight. Researchers at the University of Oxford listened to 159 recordings of doctors advising patients categorised as obese. They found that, unfortunately, the advice patients received was ‘generic’ and ‘rarely included effective methods’.
GPS WEIGHT LOSS ADVICE
When we experience health concerns, it’s often our GPs we turn to for advice. Many of us see our GP for routine health checks or medication reviews. Because of this, GPs are uniquely positioned to highlight to us when our weight creeps up beyond a healthy level and advise us on what to do about it.
However, researchers found that the weight loss advice patients were receiving from their GPs was falling short. Often statements were vague, advising patients to ‘be careful what you eat and follow proper dietary advice’ with patients being told to ‘look at their diet’.
Here’s one example of some weight loss advice given a GP included in the study: “So, you don’t want to be thinking I’m a bit peckish, I’m going to demolish a Mars bar, cos that’s a lot of calories, and you won’t feel any less hungry. What you want to be thinking is I’m a bit peckish, I’m going to eat a banana.”
Our clients are intelligent, educated people. They know that fruit is healthier than a Mars Bar. The challenges they face with their weight go beyond simply knowing what healthy food looks like. A comprehensive and personalised approach is required for effective, long term weight management,
THE STUDY CONCLUSION
The study concluded the following. “Weight-loss advice from GPs to patients with obesity rarely included effective methods, mostly communicating a general “eat less, do more” approach. Advice was mostly generic, and rarely tailored to patients’ existing knowledge and behaviours. Effectiveness of brief weight-loss advice could be improved if GPs were given clearer guidance on evidence-based recommendations.”
The study’s co-lead author, Annabel Poon went on to say: ‘Weight loss advice currently given by GPs often perpetuates ‘myths’ regarding obesity, and fails to support patients to make beneficial lifestyle changes. This study highlights the need for better training for doctors to deliver evidence-based advice that is tailored to the individual patient in order to provide effective improvement to weight, health and wellbeing,’
As a team, we have much time and respect for GPs. Most are hard working and committed to doing the best for their patients. Having friends, colleagues and clients who work as general practitioners, we see how much time and energy they invest in their job. And the restrictions they face in regards to time spent with patients and available resources. GPs are trained to have knowledge across a wide range of different health issues. Unfortunately, most GPs have very little nutrition education included in their basic training. Therefore, they’re simply not equipped with the knowledge, time or resources to comprehensively support patients with their weight management. For this reason, we receive patient referrals from a number of private and NHS doctors.
OUR GP CLIENTS
GPs are human, just like the rest of us. And many GPs struggle with their own weight loss. A number of our clients, past and present are GPs themselves. Here’s just one recent review from a GP client of ours…
“As a GP you might imagine that I would have enough understanding of how to lose weight not to need the help of an expert. However, like everyone else, myself and my partner struggled with the challenge of translating that knowledge into action. Increasingly we all have access to a variety of different sources of information and advice. So much so it can be overwhelming. I just needed someone I trusted to simplify this into a daily routine that we could follow. The support that Kim gave us was perfect. She gave us everything we needed to adjust our diet in a way that reflected our personal needs. This included some changes in what we ate, but ensured we could still enjoy our meals and feel satisfied, and some adjustments in meal times to incorporate a fasting period. The advice was evidence based but was applied in a way that reflected the reality of our lives. Not only did we both lose weight, but this has been sustained and we have not adjusted our diet and lifestyle well over a year on. I am incredibly thankful to Kim for the thoughtful and encouraging approach she took to helping us out. We specifically did not want to get fixated on a particular target, and neither of us were hugely overweight, but just wanted to feel happier and healthier. Undoubtedly the best decision I have made in relation to my health.” – Dr Jonty Heaversedge (Google Review)
CONSULTING A SPECIALIST
If you are looking to lose weight with the help of a qualified and experienced expert, we can help. Successful weight loss is about so much more than ‘eating less and exercising more’. A more comprehensive and sophisticated approach is required to ensure long term success. Our Intelligent Weight Loss Method can help you overcome your weight challenges, reach your ideal weight and maintain it long term. Book your complimentary call today to find out how we can help you.