Medical advice lacking for obese Latinos

July 1, 2011 at 11:08 PM
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., July 1 (UPI) -- About one-half of obese Mexican-American adults get any diet or exercise advice from their physicians, U.S. researchers said.

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."

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