Patients Experiencing “Psychological Distress” Are Not Getting Diet or Exercise Advice

Rob Wipond
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Less than half of people with “serious psychological distress” are being advised by their health care providers to engage in diet or exercise, according to a study in The Diabetes Educator.

University of Illinois researchers examined 5,942 responses from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey between 2007-11. They found that 49.4% of adults who were experiencing “serious psychological distress” according to the Kessler rating scale had been advised to increase exercise, and only 45.6% had been advised to reduce their dietary fat intake.

“People with mental illness have significantly higher rates of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol that could be prevented or alleviated with lifestyle modifications,” stated a press release about the study. Many psychiatric medications also increase such risks.

“It is important that providers counsel people in this population as early as possible about exercise and nutritional changes that reduce the risks associated with diabetes — before risk factors such as hypertension and high cholesterol manifest,” the lead researcher said in the press release.

Patients with mental illness less likely to receive diet, exercise advice (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign press release on ScienceDaily, February 24, 2015)

Xiang, Xiaoling, Rosalba Hernandez, and Christopher R. Larrison. “Provider Advice on Exercise and Diet Among Adults With Comorbid Serious Psychological Distress and Diabetes or Diabetes Risk Factors.” The Diabetes Educator, January 14, 2015, 0145721714567234. doi:10.1177/0145721714567234. (Abstract)

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Rob Wipond
Rob Wipond is a freelance journalist who writes frequently on the interfaces between psychiatry, civil rights, the justice system, and social change. His articles have been nominated for three Canadian National Magazine Awards, nine Western Magazine Awards, and five Webster Awards for journalism. He is currently working on a book about people's experiences of forced psychiatric treatment, and can be contacted through his website.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Someone should put them on an anti-psychotic or any other of their wonder drugs (I recommend Zyprexa – I think Lucifer is ashamed of himself that he didn’t invent it first) and then tell them to “exercise and eat healthy”. What a joke.

    • I agree, Zyprexa is the worst for weight gain. But my theory is that it may be possible Lucifer was the inspiration behind all the antipsychotics. Wow, they’re torture.

      But my psychiatrist did give me advise regarding exercise. He claimed the one hour of regular moderate exercise I struggled to continue, while he was massively drugging me, was “a sign of mania.” And he told me I should quit exercising. I’m quite certain he was inspired by Satan, too.

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