Thursday, May 17, 2007

Physicians, Heal Thyselves

I've waxed poetical numerous times here about my doctor, whom I refer to as MD Lite because, basically, I go to her, tell her what is wrong with me and what I want to do about it, and she orders the test or writes the prescription or whatever and we're done with it. I point out subtle changes in my bloodwork, which she seems to find interesting, and I nod politely when she points to the "exercise pyramid" poster in the exam room and writes me a "prescription" for 1200 low-fat calories a day.

So the 2007 Obesity Report from epocrates was no surprise. A national survey of physicians on the state of health care, the report says American MDs rate obesity as the No. 1 health problem in the country. The culprits, according to the docs, are big portions and lack of exercise.

Now, I have to agree that many restaurant portions could feed a small nation, but the docs are still hung up on the calories in-calories out mantra. Ninety-three percent of the docs believe Weight Watchers is the best weight-loss program, followed by South Beach. You can do WW and SB in a lower-carb way, but both basically focus on fat and calories. At least SB gives a nod to eliminating sugar and simple carbs; WW is flexible enough for you to do it on your own, but doesn't encourage anything other than low-fat.

Health initiatives the MDs think will help: education, cutting trans fats in fast food, reducing availability of sodas in schools, and making overweight people pay higher health premiums.

(Uh. I haven't taken a sick day in about five years. Why the heck should I have to pay higher insurance premiums so my thin, sickly friends can get better treatment?)

Only 13 percent of the physicians acknowledge a genetic component to obesity.

There's more fun and frivolity to be found in the full report.

Off to hang myself from the balcony now. Guess my dangling feet will earn me a few exercise points before I choke.

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