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)