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When compared to their female counterparts, men who are obese are more likely to engage in open dialogue and receive counseling on how to lose weight, especially when they have male physicians, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University.
Obese female patients and women physicians were least likely to have discussions regarding weight, and the study authors theorized that it is due to notions that women are sensitive and unsatisfied with their bodies.
"Perhaps societal norms linking physical fitness to masculinity leads male physicians to view obese men as more receptive to weight-related counseling and contributes to open dialogue about weight in male gender-concordant relationships," said co-author Octavia Pickett-Blakely.
The study revealed that male physicians were 60 percent more likely to give diet advice and 75 percent more likely to recommend exercise to obese male patients, when compared to obese women receiving treatment from female doctors.
Study authors said the findings should bring awareness to the medical community of the discrepancies between treatment of obese males and females in healthcare settings.