Monday, September 08, 2008

28% of Doctors give Nutritional Advice?!

At least in California.

A survey of 46,000 residents revealed that 34% of residents said their doctors discussed exercise with them and 28% said their doctors discussed nutrition.

Not surprisingly, the media is painting this as a shockingly low number. I think it sounds shockingly high.

I think it's high because frankly most doctors simply aren't taught about nutrition and exercise.

I wonder if comments along the lines of,

"you should try to eat healthier"

"you should try to find more time to be active"

"you should try to eat less

They shouldn't you know.

Telling someone who's asking for advice on weight loss or healthy living that they should, "eat less and exercise more" is just about as useful as telling someone who's clinically depressed that they should simply, "buck up".

If we want to have doctors really be able to pull their weight in obesity prevention and healthy living promotion we're going to have to go back to the drawing boards in medical schools and residency programs and really teach doctors concrete useful tips that they can give their patients.

Until then I'm afraid, with rare exceptions, we're going to be stuck with most doctors giving vague to the point of useless nutritional and lifestyle advice.

Has your doctor ever given you any concrete, useful recommendations on diet or exercise?