Background: The purpose of this study was to characterize what patient and physician factors increase the likelihood of physicians counseling weight loss in their overweight patients.
Methods: A retrospective chart survey of 418 outpatient charts from 50 family medicine residents and faculty was conducted.
Results: Of the 267 patients who were overweight based on a body mass index score of more than 27, only 29.6% had been instructed to lose weight. Overweight patients with hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, or coronary artery disease were instructed to lose weight 32.9% of the time. Patient age or sex and physician age, sex, or level of training did not affect the frequency of treatment.
Conclusion: Physicians need to be more aggressive in their counseling of overweight patients.