(HealthDay News) — Patients who discuss weight loss with their physicians but do not feel judged may be more likely to attempt and succeed in losing weight, according to research published online February 9 in Preventive Medicine.

Kimberly A. Gudzune, MD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted an Internet-based survey of 600 overweight or obese adults. The authors sought to assess the effect of patient perceptions regarding primary care provider (PCP) judgments about weight on self-reported weight loss.

The researchers found that 21% of respondents felt judged by the PCP about weight. Those who felt judged were more likely to attempt to lose weight (odds ratio [OR], 4.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.96–11.14) but not more likely to lose at least 10% of their body weight (OR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.42–1.76). Among patients who discussed weight loss with the PCP, more of those who did not perceive judgment by the PCP achieved a 10% or greater weight loss (20.1%) than those who perceived judgment (13.5%).

“Health care providers will need both the knowledge about obesity as well as the ability to considerately counsel obese patients for this benefit to facilitate patients’ successful weight loss,” the authors write.

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