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Should Doctors Also Be Healthy?

Update Date: Nov 30, 2015 05:31 PM EST

According to recent research, the doctors who are obese themselves will not be able to convincingly encourage the patients to follow a healthy lifestyle. This is because they know that their patients will not take them very seriously. There have been, in fact, one study after another that show how healthy doctors are able to make their patients healthy too. Physicians who don't smoke themselves are able to recommend their patients to quit smoking, according to a Canadian Journal of Public Health Study in 2010. The doctors that are physically active are able to recommend a regular routine of exercising to their patients, said 2013 American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine literature review. "It makes the message more credible," says Felipe Lobelo, an associate professor of global health at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, who led the research, as reported by Yahoo News.

None of this is to say we should impose fitness rules without helping doctors follow them. After all, they "suffer from what many suffer from," says Sara Bleich, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: "They have no time." According to an Obesity study led by Bleich in 2013, 34% of them were obese and 8% were struggling with their condition of being overweight. Bleich's research presented a counterargument that overweight people, in fact, preferred to get dieting recommendations from the doctors who were obese themselves as they were likely to understand the struggle. Besides, to have weight requirements for the doctors will further amplify the stigma around obesity which is a complex condition not only resulting from poor diet but also from genes and environmental factors, reports Yahoo news.

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