As I glanced through the local newspaper yesterday, I came across an article title I've been meaning to discuss for quite some time..."Does a doctor's weight matter"? Every day, through out the office day, I counsel children and their families about the importance of healthy eating and daily exercise. On some occasions, I feel the need to hammer the point home with a bit more purpose when I have, let's say, a 10-year-old with a body mass index (BMI) in the 99th percentile. Now granted, when a child (or adult, for that matter) is extremely overweight, it may not be as simple as just some straightforward reminders and further work-up may be needed, but I certainly believe there is no harm in emphasizing the importance of healthy living on a routine basis.
And I do believe my message carries some credence in that I am not overweight and for the most part, commit myself to routine exercise and healthy eating standards. No, I am not an Olympic athlete and do not pretend to be one and will certainly not bore you with my exercise plan. Furthermore, I have a bit of a sweet tooth and enjoy the occasional cookie or two...or even three or four...so yes, I have my own little issues to deal with. But a guiding principle I try to follow as well as share with my patients (if they are old enough to understand) and their parents is the importance of moderation. Too much of any one thing is probably not a good idea.
But one viewpoint I found interesting in the article is that some individuals may better connect with their health care providers when facing the same weight dilemmas...a sense of "I know what you are going through". And while I do agree that it is human nature to gravitate to others of similar disposition, does someone feel the same motivation as when it comes from another who appears to be practicing what he/she is preaching?
And while I look forward to hearing the responses soon to follow, please realize I understand that one can be healthy and not look like a professional athlete. I also realize, some of you...not me...are blessed with a metabolism where it doesn't matter what you eat as nothing will put the weight on. But it doesn't change the fact that all of us should be following three simple principles...healthy eating, routine exercise, and a sense of moderation.
For those wanting to read the original article from the Los Angeles Times, here's a link...http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-surgeon-general10-2009aug10,0,5052150.story .