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Advice from health professionals increases motivation to lose weight in obese patients

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Motivation to lose weight and weight loss is greater in overweight adults when they have received health professional advice on weight loss, suggests a recent UK study.

In the study, a cross-sectional survey of 810 overweight and obese adults were asked if they had ever received health professional advice to lose weight and reported their desire to weigh less, and whether they were attempting to lose weight.

Only 17% of overweight and 42% of obese respondents recalled ever having received health professional advice to lose weight. Health professional advice to lose weight was associated with nearly a 4-fold increase in both wanting to lose weight and weight loss attempts.

The researchers noted that ‘advice to lose weight appears to increase motivation to lose weight and weight loss behaviour, but only a minority of overweight or obese adults receive such advice’ and advise that better training for health professionals in delivering weight counselling could ‘offer an opportunity to improve obese patients’ motivation to lose weight’.

BMJ Open, online 4 November

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