Practice what you preach–isn’t that what we’ve all been told? And yet, in the medical industry (like many others), this is often not the case. Take for example, a new research report that revealed as many as 50% of nurses are overweight. Given the fact that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese today, this may seem like positive news. But is it?
The study from Physicians & Ambulatory Network Services at the North Shore looked at 112 nurses from a New York hospital and asked them about their beliefs on the benefits of exercise. Aside from finding that many of them struggle to find the time and motivation to work out (as many people do), nearly half of them were deemed overweight or obese. And 93% of them were females.
In addition, when examining attitudes about exercise, researchers found that only when the nurses believed in exercise, did they promote it. What? Only if they “believe in it”? People may not do it, but who doesn’t believe in exercise? Especially someone in the medical profession? Shouldn’t they have learned all about the weight-controlling and disease-controlling benefits of exercise in I-want-to-be-a-nurse 101?
But here’s the really good part: The researchers concluded that nurses need encouragement as they attempt to embrace healthy habits. Um, aren’t they they ones who are supposed to encourage us?
I, for one, would take medical advice from an overweight nurse if–and only if–it was about something non-related to weight. I think. Last time I was in the ER though, I was astonished at how many overweight nurses and doctors were in there dispensing drugs and medical advice. Not that they don’t know the facts behind illnesses, unhealthy conditions, diseases and broken bones, but I found myself half listening to them as they hurried to scribble out prescriptions for synthetic remedies–not anything natural. And if they did start talking about the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, I would certainly have tuned them out and wanted to respond with something sarcastic .
I would love to hold physicians and nurses to stricter guidelines when it comes to healthy living, including walking the walk (literally). That means they should adhere to healthy weight parameters, healthy eating habits and regular exercise–just like the rest of us. And don’t even get us started on doctors who smoke.