Being caring helps patients to shed kilos, study reveals

Patients lose more weight when they think GPs care about their efforts, say experts

Patients lose more weight when they feel GPs care about them and understand how hard it is to lose weight, a US study of community health centre patients suggests.

Weight loss success is also more likely when doctors provide detailed counselling rather than simply advising patients to lose weight, shows data from 134 overweight patients (70% female, average BMI 36 kg/m3, mean age 51).

The analysis looked at 134 patients in the intervention arm of a 12-month study of a digital weight-loss intervention called Track, which included counselling and weekly monitoring of weight loss goals.

The participants rated doctors they consulted during the study — who had access to the patient’s progress but were not delivering the intervention — for empathy using a 10-item measure with a score range of 10 (lowest level of care and empathy) to 50 (highest level).

The higher the