Research from Duke University found that doctors’ messaging to their patients can significantly influence their outcomes relative to weight loss.
Patients lost a modest amount of weight when doctors only gave generic advice such as, “you should exercise more.” Conversely, they lost much more weight – almost 7 pounds more on average – when doctors offered specific advice to engage in a weight loss program and checked in on them regularly.
The study also found that patients who rated their doctors as empathetic and caring lost about 7 pounds more on average than those who did not.
These findings suggest that doctors can facilitate greater weight loss in their patients by offering a comprehensive weight-loss program and checking in regularly to help the patient remain accountable throughout. In addition, establishing an empathetic connection with the patient on the difficulties of weight loss can make a great difference, too.