Ha Nguyen, an assistant professor of family and community medicine at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina, examined data from a survey conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The researchers asked 1,787 obese Mexican-American adults if a doctor or healthcare professional ever advised them to exercise more or eat fewer high-fat and high-cholesterol foods.
The study, scheduled to be published in the July/August issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, found overall 45 percent of participants reported their doctor never provided recommendations to increase exercise and 52 percent said a healthcare professional never advised them to make dietary improvements.
"Among this obese population, not seeing 100 percent of people receiving advice is discouraging. There is a much higher risk of having negative health consequences," Nguyen said in a statement. "The rate of about 50 percent receiving advice is generally the same as previous reports in the general population."