Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Facing Facts: Does Your Doctor Make You Feel Fat?

One of my Facebook Friends, Ms. Fatima Parker, posted the following article from in her group Beauty Diversity & Healthy Body Image about how doctors will attribute certain symptoms and problems to overweight people merely based on their outward appearance.

One of the quotes that stuck out to me in the article was this, from Arya Sharma, MD, PhD, chair of obesity research and management at the University of Alberta:

"I hear so many stories of doctors making assumptions about patients' health and lifestyles based on their appearance," says Arya Sharma, MD, PhD. "One of the key factors underlying this stereotyping is the notion that nobody would be obese if they were eating healthy and exercising," Dr. Sharma says. "But for every obese person I see who doesn't exercise two hours a day or who's drinking gallons of soda pop, I'll treat ten thin people doing exactly the same thing."

Perhaps if more women took a stand when they went to the doctor, and spoke up about how they wish to be treated, more doctors would work on their bedside manner. And if it doesn't change, then, as the article suggests, perhaps it is time for you to switch doctors.

Have you been to a doctor that has made you feel uncomfortable about your weight? Do you think that doctors should receive Health At Every Size (HAES) trainings in order to be better educated in dealing with plus size patients? Have you changed doctors after situations similar to the article and received a better response?

Read the full article here on

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