And no. It is neither a slimming pill nor a new diet regimen. A new study, published in the Patient Education and Counseling journal, indicates that doctor support is the key to losing weight successfully.
GOOD COMMUNICATION = LOSING WEIGHT
According to the study, obese people who felt that their doctors were helping them get thinner doubled their weight loss results compared to those who did not have the same treatment.
Eureka Alert reports that the study involved 347 obese people who were part of the two-year weight loss program, POWER, funded by the U.S. government. By filling out surveys about their relationships with their doctors, the subjects were able to give more data to the researchers who concluded that communication with an expert is the key to fighting obesity.
LOSING WEIGHT: HOW DID THEY DO IT?
63% of the 347 patients who participated in the research as subjects were female and 40% were African-American. All 347 of them were obese with 36.3 BMI on average and cardiovascular disease factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.
Researchers from John Hopkins from the School of Medicine, including Wendy L. Bennet, the primary care physician from the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, managed to create bonds with the 347 patients with good communication tactics, empathy and trust which, as the research showed, proved to have beneficial outcomes. Patients were more like to keep to their appointment and stick to their medication schedules.
DID THEY LOSE THE EXTRA POUNDS?
Bennet and her colleagues analyzed all the information by the POWER program trial, to understand if the subjects’ dedication to their goal had an impact on their weight. After that, they were requested to rate their respective doctors through a survey.
Almost all of the participants described their relationships with their physician as high-quality but the overall connection between the doctor and the patient did not have a high impact on weight loss. However, the patients that were satisfied with their relationships with their physicians lost an average of 11 pounds during the trial, compared to those who rated their respective doctors with the lowest ratings. On average, they lost just over 5lbs.
Bennet notes that this research is pure evidence that good connection between providers and patients is important in their weight loss. Also, she added that patients often join commercially run weight loss programs without letting their physicians know:
“Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss,” she said.