Doctors have less respect for their obese patients than they do for patients of normal weight, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests. The findings raise questions about whether negative physician attitudes about obesity could dr bk laser be affecting the long-term health of their heavier patients.
As patients had higher body mass index (BMI), physicians reported lower respect for them, according to the study, being published in the November issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. In a group of 238 patients, each 10-unit increase in BMI was associated with a 14 percent higher prevalence of low patient respect. BMI, dr bk laser calculated from a person's weight and height, is a shorthand used to determine whether someone is a healthy weight. A person whose BMI is 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight; a BMI over 30 is considered obese.
Mary Margaret Huizinga, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says the idea for the research came from her experiences working in a weight loss clinic. Patients would come in and "by the end of the visit would be in tears, saying no other physician talked with me like this before. No one listened to me," says Huizinga, the study's leader and dr bk laser director of the Johns Hopkins Digestive Weight Loss Center.
"Many patients felt like because they were overweight, they weren't receiving the type of care other patients received," she says.