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Cross-sectional study
Physicians' calling patients on excess weight may provide reality check and increase desire to lose weight in overweight and obese individuals
  1. Arya M Sharma
  1. Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Arya M Sharma
    Professor and Chair in Obesity Research and Management, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Royal Alexandra Hospital, 10240 Kingsway Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5H 3V9, Canada; amsharm{at}

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Recent estimates suggest that approximately two-thirds of Americans are overweight and one-third are obese.1 The current study evaluated patients' perceptions of overweight and obesity in a nationally representative sample of adults in the USA and examined whether reports of physician acknowledgement of patients' weight status are associated with a difference in their perceptions and behaviours.


The participants included in this study are participants in the 2005–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey study, aged between 20 and 64 years with measured body mass index (BMI), who were asked whether they had been told by their physician or another health professional that they were overweight. There were 7790 participants, of whom 5474 had a BMI of 25.0 or greater including 2874 with a BMI of 30.0 or greater. The main outcome measure was the …

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  • Competing interests None.