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Clinicians fail to give lifestyle advice to diabetics

Around half of overweight patients with diabetes do not receive diet and exercise advice from their doctors, a study suggests.

Yet the study found almost all clinicians (99.6%) surveyed said they routinely talk about physical activity with patients with diabetes and 88% said they give advice about dieting.

Researchers from Newcastle University were “very surprised” by the differences in patient and clinician feedback.
The study found 45% of overweight patients with diabetes said a doctor had talked to them about physical activity during the previous year, and 57% had received diet advice.
Director of Care, Policy and Intelligence at Diabetes UK Simon O'Neill said the research highlights the importance of doctors making sure their advice to people with diabetes is “crystal clear and jargon free”.

“Whether someone has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it is important that if they are overweight then they know they are at an increased risk of devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease or amputation,” he said.
“This is why it is a concern that doctors think they are giving people with diabetes who are overweight significantly more lifestyle advice than the patients themselves say they are getting.
“It is clear from this research that doctors understand the important role they have in giving people with diabetes information about how to manage their condition, but if this is not getting through then that is a real missed opportunity.”

Questions: Are you concerned by the study findings?