Effectiveness of Physician Counseling Poor Diet

There is inconclusive evidence that physician counseling can lead to dietary changes.55-59 In one such study, physicians gave patients a self-help booklet and a brief motivational message, which led to significant changes in the intake of fat and fiber, compared with a usual care comparison group.56 Most studies, however, have included several hours of physician education and training on diet counseling, as other studies have shown that physicians receive little training on diet and may often not be aware of the effect of dietary modifications.60-63 Similar studies have observed that brief training of physicians can lead to changes in blood cholesterol,64 saturated fat intake,65 and fruit and vegetable intake.55 Some studies, however, have found no effect of physician counseling, and many primary care-based studies have also employed office systems, computer-tailored print messages, and counseling by nutritionists and nurses, which make it difficult to understand the independent effects of physician counseling.55,57,65-67

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