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Health Horizons : Letter from the Editor

March 21, 1993

What if your dentist had false teeth? Or your golf pro sliced like Gerald Ford? Or your daughter's driving instructor papered his office wall with his own traffic violations? To put it mildly, it might lower their credibility in your eyes.

Well that's how many of us feel when we're told to lose weight by a doctor whose belt would stretch from Philippe's to Junior's. As author Therese Iknoian points out in "Physician Feed Thyself" on Page 10 of this issue, not all doctors are overweight and out of shape. But according to physician surveys, many admit that they don't even come close to practicing what they preach about diet and exercise. The fat really hit the fire after a New England Journal of Medicine article cited the "pudge-page phenomenon," in which a number of chubby docs were observed setting off their own beepers when they sat down. "This occurs," the article said, "when the 'love handle' makes contact with the button on the pager's top surface."

Iknoian, who is a fitness instructor as well as a journalist, elicits some juicy admissions from a number of heavyweight doctors that help shed light on this weighty problem.

In conjunction with this semi-annual special section, The Times is sponsoring Good Health Career Days, a job fair for workers in the health care field. The fair will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Health Horizons was produced by Times editors and staff writers, as well as top free-lance journalists from around the country. We hope you enjoy it.

Joel Greenberg Science/Medicine Editor Los Angeles Times

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