Can Overweight Docs Really Give Credible Weight Loss Advice?

11 months ago 26

July 7, 2021 -- Kevin Gendreau, MD, a weight loss doctor at Southcoast Health in Fall River, MA, lets patients know that he was once obese. He says this knowledge inspires and motivates them to lose weight.

After dropping 125 pounds over 18 months, “I can relate to their binges, hardships, and plateaus on a very personal level,” he says.

Peminda Cabandugama, MD, an endocrinologist and obesity medicine specialist at Truman Medical Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has weighed between 180 and 240 pounds in the past decade. He now weighs 225 pounds and has a healthy lifestyle.

“I have had patients come to me saying, ‘I used to see a different weight loss doctor who was not heavy. But how can he understand what I’m going through?’” he says.

Cabandugama shares his weight loss struggles with patients “to dispel this myth that weight management is as simple as just eating too much and not exercising. It involves a smorgasbord of emotions and hormones, some within and outside of our control. I hope that sharing this allows me to connect more with my patients so that they know that even their health care professional goes through the same challenges that they do.”

“Patients are more likely to make behavior changes when doctors are supportive and have had similar experiences and talk about their stories,” says Wendy Bennett, MD, an obesity researcher and associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Do Patients Respect Overweight Doctors?

While Gendreau and Cabandugama have lost weight, some doctors who would like to shed unwanted pounds have been unable to do so. What impact does this have on patients?

Doctors sometimes have biased attitudes toward overweight patients, but...

Read Entire Article