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Healthcare Workers Don't Always Practice What They Preach

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 18, 2012

One presumes healthcare workers have much healthier behaviors than the general population because they know better, but that's far from the case, especially in areas of weight control, binge drinking, and cigarette smoking.

"If you go down the list, in most cases, healthcare workers are no better than anybody else," says Kenneth Mukamal, MD, a researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and principal author of a research letterentitled in part, "Do Healthcare Workers Practice What they Preach?"

The report, with co-author Benjamin K.I. Helfand, is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Mukamal adds that the study is the first nationally representative study of its size to show such variation in health practices between healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers.

"Despite the fact that healthcare workers have a very good idea of what the consequences of overweight and obesity are, they don't do any better than anybody else," Mukamal says.

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