Objective: To describe the relationship between primary care physicians' (PCPs') beliefs about the causes of obesity with the frequency of nutritional counseling.
Methods: We analyzed a national cross-sectional internet-based survey of 500 US PCPs collected between February and March 2011.
Results: PCPs that identified overconsumption of food as a very important cause of obesity had significantly greater odds of counseling patients to reduce portion sizes (OR 3.40; 95%CI: 1.73-6.68) and to avoid high calorie ingredients when cooking (OR 2.16; 95%CI: 1.07-4.33). Physicians who believed that restaurant/fast food eating was a very important cause of obesity had significantly greater odds of counseling patients to avoid high calorie menu items outside the home (OR 1.93; 95%CI: 1.20-3.11). Physicians who reported that sugar-sweetened beverages were a very important cause of obesity had significantly greater odds of counseling their obese patients to reduce consumption (OR 5.99; 95%CI: 3.53-10.17).
Conclusions: PCP beliefs about the diet-related causes of obesity may translate into actionable nutritional counseling topics for physicians to use with their patients.
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