Weight Loss Advice US Obese Adults Receive from Health Care Professionals

This article examines the frequency and quality of weight loss advice received by obese adults from health care professionals. Using a national sample of 1,873 obese adults, researchers conducted a multivariate linear regression to determine characteristics associated with receipt of weight loss advice.

Key Findings:

  • Of respondents who had visited a doctor in the last year, 40 percent had been advised to lose weight.
  • Men were less likely to have received advice to lose weight than women.
  • Health care professionals recommended, on average, a weight reduction of 21 percent of body mass.
  • Of respondents advised to lose weight, almost 65 percent were told to change their diet, 88 percent to increase physical activity, and almost 60 percent to use both strategies.