This is a very thoughtful article about the generally poor advice patients get from their doctors. Obesity is the stalking horse of death for many Americans and despite much marketing hype we are failing as a society. The next generation is likely to be the first whose life expectancy will be less than their parents. Liver disease and the co-morbidity it contributes to are multi-decade killers. This article is from StatNews by AGUSTINA SAENZ and is a good discussion of the problem.
Clinicians, often get nutrition information that’s influenced by industries selling American-style fare, like red meat, sugar, ice cream, and soda. The “moderation” clause soon creeps in. Easy-to-grab, fast food options are even sold in hospitals, the sacred places where the sickest people go for treatment and recovery.
Most primary care doctors find it relatively easy to talk with their patients about topics like depression or cancer. Yet many shy away from talking about nutrition, or find it difficult to do. Avoiding that conversation is costly. For someone with diabetes, it may mean the difference between losing a foot or keeping it. For someone with heart disease, that conversation could free them from workplace disability or empower them to work harder. For someone who is steadily gaining weight, it could save them from gastric bypass surgery or from a lifetime of medications to treat obesity and weight-related complications.
Many people blame lack of willpower for gaining weight. According to the University of Chicago, consumers say that willpower is their No. 1 barrier to weight loss. Americans spend $60 billion each year on diet and diet aids, but aren’t much slimmer for it. Close to 70 percent of adults are overweight or obese. Sixty percent are on diets.