A new study has shown that people who diet under the supervision of a medical professional are significantly more successful than those who follow a plan of their own.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have presented a dieting recommendation that seems simple, but has proven wildly effective at helping people lose weight. According to a university press release, the results from a federally funded clinical trial involving 300 obese people indicate that those who seek help from a professional lose significantly more weight than those who diet on their own.
The study asked participants to rate how helpful their doctors were as they navigated a weight loss program over a two-year period. The results were published in the August 21 edition of Patient Education and Counseling, and showed that people who gave their doctors a high ranking of helpfulness were able to lose weight with ease compared to those who gave their doctors a low ranking.
High-quality doctor-patient relationships offer the benefits of empathy, communication, trust, and collaboration. These factors can make all the difference as people struggling to lose weight try to stick to their regimen. Patients with a solid relationship with their doctor are more likely to take advice seriously, attend appointments, and track progress in their health.
The study found that the patients who gave their doctors a high helpfulness ranking lost an average of 111 pounds. By contrast, the patients who ranked their doctors as unhelpful lost an average of 5 pounds over the course of the study.
According to Wendy Bennett, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins, “The trial supports other evidence that providers are very important in their patients’ weight loss efforts. Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss.”