Want to drop those extra pounds? It's time to consult your doctor as a new study has revealed that physician's support is the key to successful weight loss.
Johns Hopkins researchers have said that their findings could inform the development of weight loss programs that give primary care physicians a starring role.
In the study, Primary care physician Wendy L. Bennett and her colleagues reviewed information gathered by Johns Hopkins' Practice-based Opportunities for Weight Reduction trial, a two-year, randomised, controlled study funded by the federal government.
During the trial, some obese patients worked to lose weight with the aid of health coaches while their efforts were supervised by their primary care physicians and they were asked to fill out surveys that asked their relationships with their primary care physician.
Each participant also had one of three cardiovascular disease risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.
Results of a review showed that nearly all of the 347 patient surveys reviewed for the Johns Hopkins study reported high-quality relationships with their physicians, with the overall relationship showing little effect on weight loss.
However, those patients who gave their physicians the highest ratings on 'helpfulness' during the trial lost an average of 11 pounds, compared to just over 5 pounds for those who gave their physicians the lowest 'helpfulness' ratings.
Bennett said that incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss.
The study is published in the journal Patient Education and Counseling.