Impact of weight-related advice from healthcare professionals on body mass index of patients in the USA

H. Y. Yang, H. J. Chen, Yea-Jen Hsu, Lawrence J Cheskin, Youfa Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: Healthcare professionals (HCPs) can help promote healthy eating and active living in patients. This study assessed the effects of weight-related advice from HCPs on change in body mass index (BMI) of patients in the USA. Study design: A 1-year follow-up study of 20,002 adults who participated in a nationally representative survey between 2004 and 2008. Methods: Using the 2004–2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data, 1-year BMI and weight status changes were compared between patients who did and did not report receiving advice on exercise or on restricted intake of fat and cholesterol from their HCPs. Results: Patients who received weight-related advice had a greater increase in BMI compared with those who did not receive weight-related advice. Stratified by the baseline weight status of patients (i.e. normal weight, overweight or obese), adverse direction of BMI change was only significantly associated with advice on exercise. Patients who received advice to exercise more were more likely to move to a higher weight status than remaining at the same weight status, compared with patients who did not receive advice to exercise more. Conclusion: This study did not find that weight-related advice from HCPs had a positive impact on BMI loss in patients. On the contrary, patients who reported receiving weight-related advice from HCPs had worse weight outcomes 1 year later than patients who did not report receiving weight-related advice. Further research is warranted to elucidate the role of weight-related advice from HCPs on lifestyle change and obesity prevention and control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health
Volume159
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Keywords

  • Body mass index
  • Health professional advice
  • Obesity
  • Overweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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