Doctors and Obesity—Why Have They Waited So Long?

June 28, 2004
Volume 01    |   Issue 3

In light of the current obesity epidemic sweeping our country, doctors at a recent American Medical Association (AMA) meeting decided it was time they lost weight, too. Half of the doctors attending this meeting admitted they didn't exercise for even half an hour on most days.

Doctors need to be role models for their patients, said Dr. Michael Flemming, the rather large president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He decided to wear a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps every day.

One look at the good doctor had me wondering why he had waited so long. He needed exercise - and a different diet - months and months ago. What in the world have these doctors been waiting for? Do they really think that they are exempt from the consequences of obesity, such as heart disease and diabetes?

This is an excellent example of the difference between true "health care" practitioners and "disease care" practitioners.

Most doctors treat diseases. They don't look at prevention or health until it hits them over the head. Obesity is a subject that's now hitting people over the head and making headlines. Doctors can no longer avoid looking at their own weight problems.

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I belong to a monthly doctor's study group attended by 20-40 members. There's not an obese person in the room.

At 5'4", I weigh 125 pounds. I work out four or five days a week for a minimum of an hour, both with weights and aerobic exercises. My diet consists of whole foods. Not entirely, but mostly. I'm over 65 with no health problems and take no medications, either prescription or over-the-counter. Who do you want to listen to?

How can you be sure that your overweight doctor even knows what he is talking about when he gives you advice about your diet or your health? You may want a second opinion from someone who walks her talk and knows about good health.

I invite you to join the thousands of women who read Women's Health Letter every month for current cutting-edge information. As a subscriber, you have access to my extensive database, as well.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,


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