Are you fatter than your doctor? If so, you might be more likely to get a diagnosis of obesity.
A study published this month in Obesity shows that physicians with normal body mass indexes (BMIs) talk to obese patients about weight more often, and are more likely to diagnose patients as obese.
Physicians with normal BMIs believed that overweight patients would be more likely to trust weight-loss advice if their doctor was not overweight, the study showed.
Both groups appeared reluctant to mention the topic: Researchers analyzed 500 primary care physicians, and found those with normal BMI talked to obese patients about losing weight 30 percent of the time, whereas overweight and obese physicians engaged in the discussion 18 percent of the time.
As for diagnosis, doctors who perceived the patient's BMI to be the same or greater than their own diagnosed obesity 93 percent of the time.
Previous research has shown that two-thirds of obese patients do not receive an official diagnosis of obesity or weight-related advice.