Is your doctor overweight?

Is your doctor overweight?

Doctors are just about as overweight as the rest of us.

Doctors are just about as overweight as the rest of us.

by Mary Budinger — 

Doctors are just about as overweight as the rest of us. Latest figures tell us that about 35 percent of Americans are obese. Medscape, part of WebMD Health Professional Network, released the results of their survey “Physician Lifestyle Report 2014.” This survey found that although far fewer physicians than the total number who responded are obese (8 percent), being overweight is still a problem for 34 percent of them.

General surgeons are the most overweight physicians, with 49 percent confessing to being overweight to obese. Family physicians reported 48 percent, followed by gastroenterologists, critical care doctors and pulmonary medicine doctors. Dermatologists are the least heavy, at 23 percent, followed by 29 percent of ophthalmologists.

Only 16 percent in the obese and overweight groups reported that they were on weight-loss or calorie-restriction diets. About a third of physicians who responded said they take a multivitamin, which is similar to usage rates among the general U.S. population. Vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants came next on the list of supplements used.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), 38 percent of adults in the U.S. are using some form of alternative medicine. According to the Medscape survey, about the same percentage of physicians admitted taking Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments for medical conditions. Pain was the most common reason for using CAM. Acupuncture, massage and chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation were the most commonly cited practices.



Mary Budinger is an Emmy award-winning journalist who writes about integrative medicine. 602-494-1999.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 3, June/July 2015.

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