Are overweight doctors perpetuating the obesity epidemic? (Morning Read)

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When overweight doctors give diet advice. Fifty three percent of physicians in the U.S. are overweight or obese. That number doesn’t look so bad when compared with the country’s overall obesity rate of 64 percent.

But a Johns Hopkins study of 500 U.S. general physicians found that overweight doctors discuss weight loss with only 18 percent of their patients, compared to the 30 percent with which normal-weight doctors do. And, only seven percent of doctors said they diagnosed obesity in patients they believed to weigh less than them. The researchers suggest that doctors’ weight could be playing an indirect role the obesity epidemic.

Drug risks and the FDA. When it comes to assessing drug risks and side effects, it turns out doctors don’t listen to the U.S. Food and Administration very much. In a study published in Medical Care, researchers looked at data from the past 20 years when the FDA added warnings to drug labels, issued public health advisories or wrote letters to prescribers to let them know of unexpected drug risks. They found that oftentimes the warnings weren’t heeded or resulted in unintended results. The best success with drug warnings and public health advisories has come when the FDA sends and repeats clear messages on risks over time, the study found.


One man’s trash is another man’s medical treasure. Who knew Craigslist was such a hotspot for healthcare? After combing through the offerings listed under several different cities, David Whelan found ads for medical marijuana, human organs, doctors’ offices and businesses, used medical equipment, and enrollment in clinical trials.

Medical mistakes. In this Ted Talk, Dr. Brian Goldman addresses a taboo topic in medical care: the roles and implications of doctors’ mistakes, shame and denial.

Doctors’ online reputations. We use review sites like Yelp and Yahoo! Places for restaurants, hotels and museums, but how about for healthcare? A Pew Research Center study says only 16 percent of adults use online reviews of doctors, and far fewer post them. But more doctors these days are looking for ways to squelch bad reviews and improve their online reputation, the Washington Post reports.

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