Would You Take Diet & Exercise Advice from an Overweight GP?

Diet, Tape MeasurePatients are less likely to take advice about diet and exercise from doctors who are overweight, researchers have found.

Last year Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said the NHS should set an example by helping its staff to lose weight.

Researchers surveyed 2100 adults across the UK and found that 9% of respondents were likely to take advice on diet and exercise from an overweight GP, while 48% said that they were less likely or much less likely to do so.

Just 3% of respondents said they were less likely to take advice on exercising and maintaining a balanced diet from a GP with a healthy weight, while 59% said they were more likely to do so.


British Medical Journal (2015) News in Brief: Patients Are Likely To Take Healthy Living Advice From Overweight GPs. British Medical Journal. 17 January, 2015. 350:1-38 No 7991, pp.3.


2 thoughts on “Would You Take Diet & Exercise Advice from an Overweight GP?

  1. what if the GP was overweight, but fit and healthy?

    I take contraceptive advice from a male doctor, I take advice on restless legs from a doctor who doesn’t suffer from it…

    Just because they don’t necessarily always live it fully, doesn’t mean they don’t know what they should be doing!

    1. True, research published this month suggests it is better to be overweight and fit than normal weight and unfit; however, leadership by example. Essentially, the above survey suggests that people believe a ‘normal’ weight GP has more face validity than an overweight GP when it comes to giving advice on that particular issue.

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