Your doctor may be trying to sell you “healthy lifestyle,” but are you buying it?
In a recent interview published in MedPage Today, an online medical newspaper, a group of doctors were asked – “How difficult is it to sell “healthy lifestyle” suggestions to patients, especially with all the conflicting health media coverage, which on one day tells you drink wine for health and weeks later tells you, maybe not?”
The doctors who participated in the interview hailed from different states across the nation, but seemed to share similar challenges. They noted that patients are confused about mixed messaging offered by different news outlets, and patients also struggle with medical studies that challenge earlier recommendations. The doctors all agreed that selling lifestyle is hard because their time with a patient is limited. Patients also share financial challenges that may prevent them from being able to follow the doctor’s recommendations. The doctors also wondered if after the patient leaves the office, do they even remember or care to implement tips and recommendations that are discussed. If there’s no follow up appointment scheduled, there’s simply no way to know if directives or suggestions are being implemented.
The consensus among the doctors was that they all need to continue to offer simple pieces of information and small meaningful behavior changes, and to remain empathic while trying to prod changes. What were the most common tips offered to patients?
- Walk daily
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Stop smoking
- Recognize the “calories in calories out” energy balance equation for weight loss
- Use well recognized online sources of medical information
- Avoid liquid calories
- Look to your diet as a means of supporting better health
Sounds like the kind of advice Dr. Oz is always suggesting!!