Gender sways obesity advice to patients

OBESE male patients who visit male doctors are more likely to receive weight-related counselling than obese female patients seeing female doctors, a study has found.

US researchers believe male doctors may be able to successfully tap into a deep-seated belief that physical fitness is linked to masculinity.

Data from clinical encounters between 5667 obese adult patients and their doctors was analysed to look at the association between patient-doctor gender concordance and diet/nutrition, exercise and weight reduction.

Obese men in concordant pairs had 58% higher odds of receiving diet/nutrition counselling compared with obese women in concordant pairs.

The odds of exercise counselling were 76% higher among obese men in concordant pairs than in female gender-concordant pairs.

With gender concordance thought to encourage patient trust and to improve communication and patient satisfaction, the study authors concluded it may help