Doctor: Health thyself – first. That’s the word from a new study that finds physicians who have more healthy habits are more likely than doctors without them to recommend five important healthy-lifestyle modifications to patients.
The survey of 1,000 physicians found those who “walk the talk” are more likely to recommend that their patients take steps to eat healthy diets, limit sodium, maintain a safe weight, limit alcohol and be more physically active.
The poll – conducted by researchers from Emory University and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- also asked the doctors whether they recommend national guideline lifestyle modifications to patients with high blood pressure. Among researchers' findings:
• Four percent smoked at least once a week.
• Almost 39 percent ate the recommended five or more cups of fruits and vegetables a week.
• About 27 percent exercised five or more days a week.
• About 66 percent made all five lifestyle recommendations to patients.
Doctors who exercised at least once a week or didn't smoke were about twice as likely to recommend the five interventions.