Overweight GPs seen as less credible

The qualitative study of 21 adults found that if a GP was perceived to be healthy, the advice they gave was considered more credible, particularly in relation to weight management. 

A GP's perceived health status was most likely to be influenced by their physical appearance, especially their weight.  

“I suppose it’s the old story of ‘never trust a skinny chef’,” said one male participant. “If the doctor himself had been overweight, I probably wouldn’t have taken too much notice.” 

The patients in the study had greater confidence when they received weight management advice from a non-obese physician, compared to their obese counterparts. 

The authors said the study provided an insight into the judgements patients make about their GP's weight and health status, rather than the effect of the GP's actual weight and health status on the advice provided.