Obesity, weight loss, and physician's advice

Soc Sci Med. 2006 May;62(10):2458-68. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.11.011. Epub 2005 Dec 20.


Despite the increasing prevalence and economic costs of obesity in the USA, many physicians and other health care professionals do not advise their overweight and obese patients about weight loss. Using the 2001-2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data the purpose of our research is to investigate the relationship between individuals' receipt of physician's advice on weight loss and their tendency to eat fewer calories and fat or to use physical activity to lose weight. We find that physician's advice to lose weight has positive effects on both the probability of eating fewer calories and fat to lose weight and on the probability of using exercise to lose weight.

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • United States
  • Weight Loss*