The Checkup: A Fat Doctor Might Not Tell You You’re Overweight

But then, a skinny doctor might not, either. Oy.

HealthDay reported on a recent survey, which probed doctors’ likelihood to discuss issues of weight with overweight and obese patients. A twist: The survey included questions about the doctors’ own weight, so researchers could tell if a doctor’s weight issues might influence his conduct with patients. Of the 500 or so survey takers, about half were overweight or obese, two-thirds were male, 70 percent were white, and almost three-quarters were at least 40 years old. Researchers found that overweight physicians were less likely than their thinner peers to discuss weight-control measures with overweight or obese patients; only 18 percent of the overweight doctors said they do it. But the survey also revealed that shockingly few normal-weight doctors—only about a third—say they talk to patients about controlling their weight issues. Which means the other two-thirds think the topic is too embarrassing, or impolite, or … something. Come on, doc. I can understand not talking to the hostess at Friday night’s dinner party about her weight problems, but in your own exam room you’re more than allowed to bring it up. I mean, if gynecologists can ask their patients how many sex partners they’ve had—and trust me, they ask you that every. single. time.—I think you should have the stones to raise questions about your patient’s growing girth.

• Continuing on the topic of obesity, there’s this study, which documented a connection between obesity and pain. The study, which looked at survey responses from over a million Americans, found that the people with the largest waistlines report the most pain.

• Meanwhile, over at Penn, researchers are discovering more reasons why exercise is awesome.