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Doctor-Led Programs Can Double Weight Loss

Heading to your doctor’s office may be the best thing you can do for your weight-loss aspirations.

A recent study by doctors at Johns Hopkins University have discovered that patients who want to lose weight are often more successful when they work with their physician to shed pounds rather than using weight-loss programs which do not utilize regular interaction with a doctor.

Three hundred and forty-seven people participated in the study, which was called “Practice-based Opportunities for Weight Loss.”

According to a story published this weekend by news site UPIthe group’s average Body Mass Index was 36.3 and their mean age was 54.8 years.

The results, however, showed patients who rated their physicians high in “helpfulness” also lost the most weight — twice as much as those who gave low scores for their doctor’s level of helpfulness.

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.

Experts in the field have been quoted as saying the results of the study point to an irony in the American medical landscape. Insurance companies are not willing to cover weight-loss related visits.

Dr. Wendy L. Bennett, one of the researchers in the study, was quoted as saying compensation from insurers is “nonexistent.”

Medicare and private insurance reimbursements are low or nonexistent for physician-guided weight loss interventions.

Medical Daily quoted Bennett as saying she hopes the results of the Johns Hopkins study will spur insurers to rethink their reimbursement policies about weight-loss related doctor visits because “incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss.”

Statistics show that about one out of every three Americans is obese. A recent study showed that just one hour of television a day can increase the likelihood of childhood obesity.

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