Who are the real “real” Doctors?

December 24, 2010


image Medical doctors fail to provide vital nutrition counselling

Nutrition counselling can make a difference in the health of high-risk patients, yet a research study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that most medical doctors never even mention it to patients.

"The need for nutrition counselling is pressing in light of the epidemic of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity and hyperlipidemia [excessive fat content in the blood]," said study author Charles B. Eaton, M.D., of the family medicine department at Brown Medical School and the Center for Primary Care and Prevention at the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket.

Diet changes have enormous potential to reduce the risks of death and illness. An estimated 300,000 to 800,000 deaths every year result from nutrition-related diseases like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Eaton and colleagues analyzed data from a study of 138 physicians based in Ohio. In this study, research nurses were given permission to observe 3,475 patient examinations, and administer a questionnaire to patients after their visit. The nurses recorded any discussion of food intake or nutrition during the examination.

Only about a quarter of all patients received any nutrition counselling during their doctor visit, according to the study data. Patients who were seeing their doctor for an acute illness were less likely to receive it (17%) than patients with chronic diseases (30%). The percentage of chronically ill patients receiving counselling falls short of the "Healthy People 2010" national nutritional objectives, which suggest that 75% of office visits for hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease and diabetes should include nutrition counselling.

Physicians spent an average of less than a minute on nutrition counseling. This finding suggests "that more in-depth nutrition counseling visits will need to occur outside a typical primary care office visit," Eaton says. Some experts say registered dieticians are best suited for giving nutrition counseling, since medical schools rarely offer any classes in nutrition.

Eaton and colleagues concluded with the hope that their findings help medical educators create concise nutrition counseling tools "to help physicians optimize nutrition counseling within the context of the time constraints found in real-world, primary care practice."

SOURCE: "Direct observation of nutrition counseling in community family practice," by Charles B. Eaton, Meredith A. Goodwin, Kurt C. Stange, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, October 2002.

Obviously little has changed a study by Mayer looking at doctors attitudes to nutrition in 1974 concluded that the average doctor knows a wee bit more about nutrition than his secretary, unless his secretary has a weight problem, in which case the average secretary knows a wee bit more about nutrition than the average doctor”

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  • http://www.chiropracticlive.com Richard Lanigan

    You must be an “antivaxer” biggot , Fed up because the “scientific evidence” for the benefits of vaccinations is so compelling according to skeptics that to question is not being “skeptical” or rational in their world, its being anti.

    My whole opinion about vaccination is based on the view that getting the disease makes the immune system stronger, because of the way a human organism is infected (not directly into blood stream).

    Biggots and vaccination scientists dont understand this, your conclusion is logical however this discovery sends the bofins off trying to develop a universal flu vaccine. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/swine-flu-could-lead-to-universal-vaccine-2181122.html.

    I discussed this with Adam Finn at a BMJ Master Class a few years ago ( proponent of vaccines against chicken pox) My kids have life time immunity against whooping cough, vaccinated children and adults need boosters. How many boosters do people need, how often nobody knows and the vaccine is not that effective against whooping cough yets that is what is reccomended. The HPA agency were not interested in how my children had coped with pertusis, they wanted to give them the vaccine and I had to explain why they had immunity.

    People who were vaccinated against swine flu last year are not protected this year, people who got the illness are protected. I slept in a dormitory with 100 other kids from the age of 7 to 17 got every illness imaginable as a kid. My kids bring home colds and flu all the time, they had the swine flu last summer, I can not remember the last time I had flu or a cold,( so I wont say 20 years in case I am wrong). Research show children who have had measles rarely develop asthma. http://thorax.bmj.com/content/53/11/911.extract Then you have this:

    “reduced exposure to infection in the first few months of life increases the risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia” http://www.bmj.com/content/330/7503/1294.abridgement.pdf This was my rapis response to this article which the BMJ published. http://www.bmj.com/content/330/7503/1294.full/reply#bmj_el_104800
    It would seem the BMJ understand the concept of scepticism. My hypothesis is: the promotion of vaccination programmes has more to do with health care savings rather than promoting health?

  • Fed up

    What a surprise!!!

    “People who recover from swine flu may be left with an extraordinary natural ability to fight off flu viruses, findings suggests.

    In beating a bout of H1N1 the body makes antibodies that can kill many other flu strains, a study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine shows.”

    Full story.


  • http://www.chiropractorswarwick.co.uk Stefaan Vossen

    Some people call the idea of looking at chemical, emotional and physical dysfunction to improve health banal and so obvious it doesn’t deserve mentioning. This article reflects on the fact that it may be banal and obvious, but it definitely deserves mentioning, don’t you think… What I have found most interesting over the years is that many people think that medical practice is something that, ultimately, it really isn’t. But that is an awareness which is most discomforting and inconvenient to those who need it to be simple, straightforward and reliable.


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