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Physician Characteristics Associated With Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Counseling Practices
  • Published Date:
    Dec 12 2016
  • Source:
    Am J Health Promot. 32(6):1365-1374.
  • Language:

Public Access Version Available on: July 01, 2019 information icon
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  • Description:

    Frequent sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is associated with chronic disease. Although physician counseling can positively affect patient behavior, physicians' personal characteristics may influence counseling practices. We explored SSB-related topics physicians discuss when counseling overweight/obese patients and examined associations between physicians' SSB-related counseling practices and their personal and medical practice characteristics.


    Cross-sectional survey.


    DocStyles survey, 2014.


    A total of 1510 practicing US physicians.


    Physician's SSB counseling on calories, added sugars, obesity/weight gain, health effects, consumption frequency, water substitution, and referral.


    Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) were calculated with multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for physician's personal and medical practice characteristics.


    Most physicians (98.5%) reported SSB-related counseling. The most reported topic was obesity/weight gain (81.4%); the least reported were added sugars (53.1%) and referral (35.0%). Physicians in adult-focused specialties had lower odds than pediatricians of counseling on several topics (aOR range: 0.26-0.64). Outpatient physicians had higher odds than inpatient physicians of counseling on consumption frequency and water substitution (aOR range: 1.60-2.01). Physicians consuming SSBs ≥1 time/day (15.7%) had lower odds than nonconsumers of counseling on most topics (aOR range: 0.58-0.68).


    Most physicians reported SSB-related counseling; obesity/weight gain was discussed most frequently. Counseling opportunities remain in other topic areas. Opportunities also exist to strengthen SSB counseling practices in adult-focused specialties, inpatient settings, and among physicians who consume SSBs daily.

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