Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Letters Fat doctors are patients too

Tackling obesity among the medical profession

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 16 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7640

Rapid Response:

McCartney, Kenwright and Ledezma touched upon the issue about the professional example doctors set to patients through how they lead their personal lives. Worldwide, doctors are generally regarded as one of the most highly respected members of society and are expected to lead exemplary personal and professional lives.
There has been a series of scandals uncovering the hidden personal lives of high profile doctors. An extreme example of this is that of Dr Nair, Sydney, Australia , who was shown in the press to be a cocaine addicted neurosurgeon who regularly paid for sex with prostitutes. On a more realistic scale, there is also the recurring discussions relating to obese doctors.
As a medical student we are educated on how to advise patient on improving their lifestyle. In one pre-clinical lecture, the importance of a balanced diet constituting a good range of meat and fresh fruit and vegetables.
If doctors are the role models many people look to for lifestyle advice, and they are traditionally based in hospitals; why is there now a McDonald’s in Guys Hospital, London Bridge, a Burger King in Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, and a new Pizza Hut just opened in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth?

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 February 2015
Michael F Allen
Fourth Year Medical Student
Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Eversley, The Crossway Nevill Court, Tunbridge Wells TN4 8NL