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Calorie Count Blog

Weight Bias in Health Care


By Mary_RD on Dec 10, 2009 12:00 PM in Dieting & You
Edited By +Rachel Berman

‘Tis the season to visit the doctor, be it for a flu shot or the flu.  And you know what that means: The Dreaded Weigh-In.  Is there any wonder why we cancel our medical appointments?  Weight bias in health care exists.

Anti-fat Discrimination

Researchers from the Rudd Center at Yale University have been studying negative attitudes about obesity among health care professionals.  Across the industry, measurements of attitude show that health professionals view obese people as lazy, lacking in self-control, and of poor character.  Dr. Rob Lamberts, blog-author at “Musings of a Distractible Mind”, told The New York Times, “Obese people are the new pariahs in our culture....a culture of accusation and shame.”  But the catch is that obese people generally share the same view.  They internalize the negative stereotype.  All apologies.

More than anyone else, doctors should recognize the health risks of obesity - and they do - but they don't know how to "treat" it. They say they aren’t trained, they have no time, and they are not reimbursed for weight loss counseling - which is all true.  One-third of doctors feel no responsibility whatsoever for a patient’s weight and only 18 percent of doctors even discuss it.

But weight bias has big consequences for overweight patients. Several studies show that obese women put off routine medical care.  They have fewer gynecological screenings and mammograms, and they cancel their visits. One study that found cancellations rose as as Body Mass Index (BMI) increased.  The number one reason for cancellation? “Embarrassment about weight.” 

Overweight Patient's Rights

Patients should demand quality care and health care providers should provide it.

Patients should expect:

  • Considerate, respectful care
  • Sturdy, armless waiting room chairs
  • Reading materials than don't promulgate a culture of thinness
  • Private weigh-ins
  • A wide base scale with a 500 lb capacity
  • Large blood pressure cuffs, exam gowns, and exam tables
  • Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act

Professionals should provide:

  • A size-friendly environment
  • Quality compassionate care

Regardless of size, all patients should be encouraged to eat a wholesome, balanced diet and take care of their body-mind-spirit. 

Read a comprehensive article by Rebecca M Puhl and Chelsea A Heuer from the Rudd Center, The Stigma of Obesity: A Review and Update .


Your thoughts....

Have you experienced weight bias in health care?
Is your doctor aware of Calorie Count?



Comments


I went to the Doctor a few weeks ago.  After the exam she was looking at the data and said that my BMI is just a little to high and that I should work on trying to lose weight.  (In her defense, she was a Doctor that had never seen me before.)  I simply said, "look how much I weighed two years ago." I've lost a little under 100 lbs and kept it off for two years.

"Oh! I see you already know how to lose weight.  Keep it up."

It does bother me that they record the weight with all of my clothes & shoes.  It was a full 4 lbs heavier than my scale at home.



I didn't realize that doctors are not reimbursed for weight control counseling.  That explains why none of my doctors, even the endocrinologist will spend any time discussing it with me.  The most I ever got was a one page copy of a "diet" and once a brochure advertising a weight loss service.

I can't say I experienced real discrimination, but doctors tend to blame health problems on weight.   I make sure I bring proof that I've lost 50 pounds and have kept it off all this year.  As soon as they see that, they change their tune and treat me with more respect. 

When I take my mother to the doctor, the chairs were a tight fit when I weighed 225, my heaviest weight.  The scale is always in a hallway in every doctor's office but I have noticed that the nurses don't mention your weight out loud. I agree that weighing when fully clothed doesn't provide a clear picture of one's weight.

It's a shame that although doctors recognize the problems caused by obesity, they can't treat it. 



I definitely have experienced discrimination by doctors. A few years ago I had some unexplained swelling in my feet and ankles.  The doctor put me through a battery of test. At one point I was falsely diagnosed as having blocked arteries in my heart and underwent a angioplasty!  I had great arteries; but I was furious with the doctor.  During the follow up visit I asked her where we were going with all the testing and still no answer as to why my ankles were swelling.  Her reply: "Well, it would be easier  to know what is wrong with you if you came in  here weighing 150 pound instead of almost 300!"  So my thoughts were what do you tell your 150 patients that you can't figure out what is wrong with them!  As it turns out, the swelling was caused by fibromyalsia (which she felt didn't exist).  I no longer go to this doctor and I insist on being treated respectfully and professionally regardless of my size.  If not I'm outta there! As for weigh-ins, I either refuse or I ask that I not see the number (scales are de-motivators for me).  What does my weight have to do with the flu any way!Frown I personally feel most doctors when you get to be past what is "normal" weight don't know what to do with you any way.  They know that it is very difficult to lose and keep weight off especially when you have been obese all your life.  They know they can not guarantee weight loss.  You can do all the right things and still not get where you want to be numbers wise.   But I do digress.  This is Calorie Count!



How about overweight doctors giving treatments? I have heard clinicians make statements suggesting that weight issues have more to do with genetics taking control of choices.



What I find interesting is that my doctor's office weighs me every time I go in...but has failed to notice that I've lost over 70 pounds since I first started going to their practice!  Once, I joked that I should get a gold star in my chart, because my BMI went from obese to healthy...and the nurse was kind of like "okay...sure".  Sigh...



I agree that weight can be an issue in keeping someone from seeking medical care, particularly routine checkups.   I've avoided making appointments when I've been in a "weight gain" mode -- and found that the local Patient First walk-in clinic didn't give me the same feeling of accountability (guilt) so sometimes I just went there.  They weighed me but didn't seem to care.

My family physician, on the other hand, does pay attention to such things, but as noted above, won't get compensation if he takes extra time in weight loss treatment -- health issue or not.

Since we know that obesity is a health issue, I think it is high time that weight loss efforts be supported by health insurance -- with a caveat.  There could be a lot of abuse of the system, so I would like to see the patient pay up front for weight loss programs/counseling, and then have the insurance pay back per pound  or percentage of extra weight lost. 

That way the doctors would get paid for the counseling, the patient would have an incentive to lose the weight and to find a doctor who was capable and interested in helping. 

In the long run the insurance companies will benefit as well because they will be less likely to be footing the bill for the myriad of health problems that follow as a result of obesity.

Actually, I'd even favor a partial pay for health club memberships as long as the person maintained a healthy weight and documented appropriate cardio/strength training.  

We need to have not just doctors, but the whole health system, recognize the value of fitness.  It is a long-term pay-off, but an important one.

 

 

 



Original Post by: frogerina

What I find interesting is that my doctor's office weighs me every time I go in...but has failed to notice that I've lost over 70 pounds since I first started going to their practice!  Once, I joked that I should get a gold star in my chart, because my BMI went from obese to healthy...and the nurse was kind of like "okay...sure".  Sigh...


Me, too!!!  After all those years of being lectured about my weight, they never comment on the fact that every time I go in, I'm lighter than the last time I was there! 

I like the gold star idea...I may try that next time!



My sister had weight issues as a child. The doctors wouldn't believe that she was the most active childont he playground and generally ate healthy. they failed to notice that she stopped growing for 4 years, age 11 - 15. Ultimately, thruogh a medical emergency it was discovered that she had a major endorinolgical problem that made her metabolize carbs like sugar and affected her hormone production...both of which RESULTED in weight gain. Her weight was a symptom of very serious problems which the doctors overlooked... even a child not growing for 4 years!! It's been 18 years and I'm still furiosu with her pediatrician(s).

When I was pregnant, I had major swelling and highblood pressure in the last trimester. My normally narrow and shapely feet and calves where shaped like sausages with wrinkles around my ankles and toes fromt he water pressure. When I was sent to triage for bloodpressure monitoring at 8.5 months, the doctor saw I had gained 65 pounds in my pregnancy saying, "What have you been eating" and gave me a 'get real' face as I explained that I did eat healthy and my weight gain had been on target for the normal averages until the swelling and blood pressure started. I was quite ill witht he blood pressure so instead of calling her a $@%&! and sending her out, I offere that maybe it was all the milk I drank to compensate for not being able to afford meat more than once a week. It's been two yaers and I'm still angry with her.



Thank you for this article.

I completely relate to this situation. I'm not extremely overweight but I have recently switched "lady doctors" because during my visit she smacked my inner thigh and told me I need to loose weight. Of course its true but the way she did it absolutely embarassed me, especially with another nurse in the room. I dreaded my next appointment for a whole year and then cancelled my appointment and switched doctors. I was so glad I did. The new doctor was very respectful and didn't make me feel like I should be embarassed of my body.



I am now 46 and haven't been to the doctor for an actual physical examination in at least 15 years because of the bias that I've experienced. I was poisoned by pesticide in my late teens, had adrenals that were stressed due to being born premie, abuse during my years between 2 and 14 (a new study was just release on this), and suffering from multiple food allergies (which only recently got diagnosed sort of) and have ever since suffered from a compromised immune system, large weight gain, muscle coordination issues, etc. I've been to 4 endocrynologists who have all refused to look at the data that clearly indicates my I suffer from adrenal insufficiency and low thyroid and they all send me home and yes I've had a least 2 say to me - your just overweight single mom and you need psychiatric care. Someone who looks as good as you can't possibly have anything wrong with them. I've had at least 4 doctors quit on me because they refused to address the issues I demanded. They could see my adrenal values were off and admitted it but had no explanation or solution so they released themselves. So, because of the patronizing attitude that I've experienced from doctors for the last 27 years (since I started investigating my health problems and demanding action) I simply don't go. I have resorted to fine tuning with natural medicines and leave the doctors to pushing pills for the flu. Because of their bias and outright rude behaviour towards me I also refuse to go for others would consider essential tests. Personally I find doctors to be overpaid patronizing pill pushers that couldn't diagnose their way out of a wet paper bag. I couldn't persue my original career dreams because of their incompetence and bias and suffered horribly for over 30 years because of their bias and in the end, I've had to deal with my own health issues because they refuse to. I went into the ER 2 summers ago with the equivalent of labour pain in my mid and lower back (hormonally induced and can last from 2 days to 20). The attending physician sent me home to get drunk. He actually told me to get drunk. The story is too long to deal with here in full; what if I have alcoholism in my family? What if I don't drink? I was nothing more than a fat single mother to him - a low life! I am  professional with 12 years University and 26 years in the field in my profession and to be treated in the manner that I am by doctors is appauling! The quantity of incompetence (bias) that I have had to deal with, because I'm overweight, is absolutely unacceptable. Are you aware that in the doctors training (and this was provided to me by a friend that is a clincial psychologist), that it is clearly taught that women suffer from anxiety and typically do not have anything real going on? So not only do women have to deal with the weight bias issue, we also have to deal with the gender bias issue. So, when doctors quit being gender and weight biased, then I will consider using their services. I think I could be waiting a long time.



I work in an orthopedic doctors office and I have to tell you how way off base this article is. We are required by the state to take a persons weight, height and blood pressure. By no means would I ever treat someone differently beacuse of what those numbers say. However, I will say that I cannot tell you how many people come in to our office that are morbidly obese (for whatever reason) and have complaints of knee pain, ankle pain and foot pain. Your knees are like a second set of bathroom scales. They hurt when you carry around that much weight, and whether you want to hear it or not your weight effects your health. I struggle with weight too, but it isn't a doctors place to coddle the patient's to make them feel better about themselves when they are personally responsible for their own health. We refer our patients to a weight management program to help them learn about nutrition and exercise. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, people.



I'm so glad this was posted as this has been and always will be such a concern of mine. For years I would stress out before going to the doctor. I would actually stay up all night the night before doing situps, and exercising hoping that the number would go down a digit or 2. That morning before I would eat an apple and feel so guilty about doing so. I know it wasn't a healthy thing to do but I was up at that point over 300 pounds, so who was I kidding!

Even to this day when I'm getting closer to my ideal weight, I'm about a size 8 pushing towards a 6, I get nervous before going to the doctors. I went two weeks ago and I said I didn't want to be weighed. The nurse looked at me like I was nuts but didn't argue. The doctor said the same thing when she came in, but I told her I haven't gotten on the scale for a few years now and refuse to be controlled by a number any longer. The funny thing, the doctor was three times my size. That image and fear of the scale stays with you despite what size you are!



I'm only about 5-10lbs overweight by the BMI charts for a medium frame and my height... I'm 5'0" and weight 125-130lbs give or take a couple lbs depending on the time of the month. For a medium frame, the BMI charts say 113-123lbs. I've had 2 Dr's tell me I should weight 95-100lbs!!!! UM NO! Maybe if I had a petite frame... But I don't! Some don't take into acct that not all short people have petite frames! They don't measure for the frame size. They just look at the numbers on the scale. My OB has never said anything other than "awesome job at losing the baby weight and then some!" The nurses say they're jealous. : )



Original Post by: angela71

I work in an orthopedic doctors office and I have to tell you how way off base this article is. We are required by the state to take a persons weight, height and blood pressure. By no means would I ever treat someone differently beacuse of what those numbers say. However, I will say that I cannot tell you how many people come in to our office that are morbidly obese (for whatever reason) and have complaints of knee pain, ankle pain and foot pain. Your knees are like a second set of bathroom scales. They hurt when you carry around that much weight, and whether you want to hear it or not your weight effects your health. I struggle with weight too, but it isn't a doctors place to coddle the patient's to make them feel better about themselves when they are personally responsible for their own health. We refer our patients to a weight management program to help them learn about nutrition and exercise. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, people.


Hahaha - you say it's off base, then go on to reinforce the article. Bravo.



I feel really sad that obesity is such an epidemic, and I am not sure it should be so pampered.  I feel there should be things made so every person can use them I agree, because there are heavily overweight people, and everybody needs to have health care.  Doctors should not judge and have thatkind of attitude, but I think Doctors should still stay real with people.  If you are insanely unhealthy, you could die right then and there in the doctors office, at your kids soccer game, in the middle of church, or at work.  Obesity is not something to mess around with, it is a serious issue. 

I also agree that they should provide magazines that do not have impossibly perfect people in them.  Has anyone ever heard of photoshop?  Did you know they could spend $30,000 dollars on a cover shot?  And they do all of the time. 

Guys just please take care of yourselves, it hurts me to see people who are blatantly unhealthy, everyday is a new day.  And let no one judge you, not even me.  You know what is going on, no one else does.



I have been heavy since I was 9 years old. Nothing changed - I just gained weight. I've done diets, I followed Weight Watchers. I cut my calories so low I'd get heart palpatations. I would exercise every day of the week. I've been on Calorie Count, counting calories for YEARS.

My weight keeps going up. My doctors would tell me to lose weight and to "start eating breakfast" and "just move your body". No kidding. And when I would tell them that I eat breakfast and work out, they'd look at me with pure unadulturated skepticism.

On top of all this - I have irregular, really bad periods. I would always suggest that maybe I had PCOS. I would ask for blood screens, and the doctors would run them, then tell me I'm fine.

This spring, I had an 8 cm ovarian cyst that ruptured. I FINALLY had a diagnosis for PCOS. And my doctor suggested I see a nutritionist. WTF!

So, I went to an endocrinologist who studies PCOS, metabolism, etc. I am extremely insulin resistant, and now take 2000mg Metformin (a diabetes medicine that helps women with PCOS, even if we don't have diabetes) a day. For the first time in my life, I lost weight, and it wasn't because I was starving myself. My body is starting to work right. YAY!

But, I've been dealing with this since I was 9, most likely. I'm 26. If doctors didn't have such a sizist attitude, I could have been healthy and happy this whole time. But my body wasn't processing energy properly. Thank you to all the doctors I saw (10, in total!) that didn't look past their own prejudices to see that there were internal problems causing those external issues.



Kimberly -

Wow! You can tell how healthy a person is just by how they look? That's an amazing skill you have!

I was just part of a clinical research trial. I had a lot of tests run, and here's what I can tell you: My average blood pressure is 120/65. My sugar levels are normal. My heart is just fine. My brain is fine. My lungs are fine. I'm obese.

SO no, I'm not going to drop dead any time soon. And maybe if a doctor would look at me and try to figure out why I can't lose weight instead of JUDGING me like you just DID, things would be different for me. Luckily, I tried and tried again, and now have a doctor who believed me and is working with me to get my body to function properly again.



Original Post by: topaz720

Original Post by: frogerina

What I find interesting is that my doctor's office weighs me every time I go in...but has failed to notice that I've lost over 70 pounds since I first started going to their practice!  Once, I joked that I should get a gold star in my chart, because my BMI went from obese to healthy...and the nurse was kind of like "okay...sure".  Sigh...


Me, too!!!  After all those years of being lectured about my weight, they never comment on the fact that every time I go in, I'm lighter than the last time I was there! 

I like the gold star idea...I may try that next time!


I must be one of the luckiest patients out there!  Every time I go, I have the nurses weigh me backwards on the scale - so that I don't see the number since I know there's a difference between what they get and what I get at home.  The nurse is ALWAYS really good about not telling me anything about my weight unless I've lost.  I've told her I just don't want to know otherwise since I can see it at home, anyway.  She's going to be SHOCKED when she sees me next.  I had lost 5 lbs when I was there last, but now I've lost about 30 lbs.

My doctor is going to be thrilled.  He has discussed my weight and health each time I've been there and cheered me on with each loss.  After my hypothyroidism it's the thing we discuss the most.  When I get my blood checked he runs a ton of tests and for once I'm looking forward to how they turn out.  Hopefully with the weight coming off some of the issues he has seen in my lab work will slowly start to go away.

I'm just grateful to have found the office I'm going to, now.  Sounds like there should be more docs out there like the one I see!



Well I have never really experienced weight bias in the doctors office but that may be because my doctor is overweight as well.  The last time I went to the doctor she didn't even get out of her chair to do an exam.  She felt my ankles and stomach all while seated and that was the whole exam.  That was the final straw(there had been some other questionable moments before hand) and it let me know I need to change doctors. 

I have had health issues where I will lose weight rapidly and drop 10-20 pounds in a two week period and the people who weight me will always mention that I have lost a lot of weight and look at it as a good thing.  But I say its not good to be losing that much weight in such a short period of time.  I hate that they assume just because you are losing its a good thing, when sometimes it is a sign of something else going on.



Original Post by: kimberly4562

I feel really sad that obesity is such an epidemic, and I am not sure it should be so pampered.  I feel there should be things made so every person can use them I agree, because there are heavily overweight people, and everybody needs to have health care.  Doctors should not judge and have thatkind of attitude, but I think Doctors should still stay real with people.  If you are insanely unhealthy, you could die right then and there in the doctors office, at your kids soccer game, in the middle of church, or at work.  Obesity is not something to mess around with, it is a serious issue. 

I also agree that they should provide magazines that do not have impossibly perfect people in them.  Has anyone ever heard of photoshop?  Did you know they could spend $30,000 dollars on a cover shot?  And they do all of the time. 

Guys just please take care of yourselves, it hurts me to see people who are blatantly unhealthy, everyday is a new day.  And let no one judge you, not even me.  You know what is going on, no one else does.


I just want to say that you can't tell how healthy someone is by looking at them. My brother is 19 years old and looks as healthy as you can imagine a 19 year old would. But he has high cholesterol and high blood pressure and he never exercises. Would you know that by looking at him? No.

So why would you assume that you know an unhealthy person by looking at them? I weigh 250 lbs, have normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol, and I go for a 5 mile run (not walk, run) everyday. Would you know that by looking at me? No.

It's frankly very rude to assume that someone doesn't take care of themselves because of their weight. Just as some people are naturally petite, some are naturally large. So don't assume anything about someone's health based on their appearance. Looks can be deceiving.



Original Post by: celticdruidess

I am now 46 and haven't been to the doctor for an actual physical examination in at least 15 years because of the bias that I've experienced. I was poisoned by pesticide in my late teens, had adrenals that were stressed due to being born premie, abuse during my years between 2 and 14 (a new study was just release on this), and suffering from multiple food allergies (which only recently got diagnosed sort of) and have ever since suffered from a compromised immune system, large weight gain, muscle coordination issues, etc. I've been to 4 endocrynologists who have all refused to look at the data that clearly indicates my I suffer from adrenal insufficiency and low thyroid and they all send me home and yes I've had a least 2 say to me - your just overweight single mom and you need psychiatric care. Someone who looks as good as you can't possibly have anything wrong with them. I've had at least 4 doctors quit on me because they refused to address the issues I demanded. They could see my adrenal values were off and admitted it but had no explanation or solution so they released themselves. So, because of the patronizing attitude that I've experienced from doctors for the last 27 years (since I started investigating my health problems and demanding action) I simply don't go. I have resorted to fine tuning with natural medicines and leave the doctors to pushing pills for the flu. Because of their bias and outright rude behaviour towards me I also refuse to go for others would consider essential tests. Personally I find doctors to be overpaid patronizing pill pushers that couldn't diagnose their way out of a wet paper bag. I couldn't persue my original career dreams because of their incompetence and bias and suffered horribly for over 30 years because of their bias and in the end, I've had to deal with my own health issues because they refuse to. I went into the ER 2 summers ago with the equivalent of labour pain in my mid and lower back (hormonally induced and can last from 2 days to 20). The attending physician sent me home to get drunk. He actually told me to get drunk. The story is too long to deal with here in full; what if I have alcoholism in my family? What if I don't drink? I was nothing more than a fat single mother to him - a low life! I am  professional with 12 years University and 26 years in the field in my profession and to be treated in the manner that I am by doctors is appauling! The quantity of incompetence (bias) that I have had to deal with, because I'm overweight, is absolutely unacceptable. Are you aware that in the doctors training (and this was provided to me by a friend that is a clincial psychologist), that it is clearly taught that women suffer from anxiety and typically do not have anything real going on? So not only do women have to deal with the weight bias issue, we also have to deal with the gender bias issue. So, when doctors quit being gender and weight biased, then I will consider using their services. I think I could be waiting a long time.


Hi Celtricdruidess,

Have you considered seeing female doctors?  I wish that you would consider it; even though I am a stranger to you, I am concerned about your health, especially since you stated you have not seen a doctor in years.  Please go for your sake, as well as for the sake of your children.



I am also one of the lucky ones, I belong to Kaiser and have a great primary care provider and a great gynecologist who treat me with respect, no matter what I am weighing at the moment.  I believe that Kaiser does do in-house training, both on weight management and treating patients respectfully.

We won't go into previous health care providers, my scariest was a gynecologist that put me on a 800 calorie/day diet when I was 16 years old (I was about 10 pounds overweight at the time), and when I discussed my menstrual cramps with him said "you will be fine once you have a baby".  I was 16!  My mother immediately switched doctors for both of us.



I was overweight and went through the embarrassment of stepping on that scale, feeling lectured at by my doctor (they were looking out for my best interest), and being stared at in the waiting room. BUT... these are little moments that finally just added up and got me to take responsibility for the actions I made that got me to a level of obesity.

If I hadn't experienced those embarrassing moments, or if the clinics (or any public place, for that matter) made me feel comfortable when I was big, I may have never lost the weight. It could just be the way I am, but those moments are what propelled me to drop the pounds. And looking back, every single embarrassing moment was worth it.



Like bluegirl, I feel lucky also.  I haven't been on a "true" weight loss journey until recently.  However, I have the most amazing "lady doctor".  She will sit down and discuss with me any and every thing.  She'll notice if I gain or lose weight (but mostly I've been gaining since I've been seeing her).  She ran tests on me to see if I had PCOS.  Here's the deal, I knew I didn't have PCOS.  I know my body.  I know the reason why I'm obese.  It's my fault.  I eat way to much because I binge and I'm an overeater. 

Now, if I were in the situation hgeil was in, I think I'd be more than a little frustrated.  People know their bodies and they know if there is something really wrong with them.  10 doctors!  Wow.  I honestly think some doctors just don't care anymore about their patients.  It's more about their income than the health of their patients.  Then, I think there are some doctors who truly care.  It's just finding the right doctor.

Also, I know I'm rambling now, but I find a lot of people make excuses for their obesity.  And I think that is what gets doctors frustrated.  Face it, some of us are simply in denial that it is our fault we are overweight (where I've been for a while).  There are the exceptions that it's genetics or something seriously wrong with your body (like PCOS), but you know your body.  You know if you are seriously trying to be healthy and exercising or if you are lying and just do it "once in a while."



Well, I'm not overweight.  I lost 17 lbs, so I'm satisfied with my wieght.  But what I want to mention is that  I find that all the negative press about fast food has caused a spike in weight discrimination. Anyone should be able to sit down and relax and have their favorite hamburger without being discriminated against.  

And I think that the 'belly shots' done by the evening NEWS when reporting their Health segments, should be banned.  It's a Human Rights issue - I hope that someone will recognize themselves on one of those NEWS 'belly shots' and tke the Reporter and Television Station for compromising their right to Privacy.

Also - I don't ever stand on those weight scales.  When the 'nurse' or whatever the assistant likes to call herself, asks me to stand on the scale, I say no.  I say it with little expression, while looking at them straight in the eye.  I find that having little expression while saying no to this does not give them the impression that I am challenging them.  Because I'm not.  I see little benefit in having my weight logged at that time. 

 



I've been there too, frogerina. In high school I lost 70 pounds with Weight Watchers, and when I went to my check up that summer, I was really excited to hear the doctor tell me about all the health benefits and to just get a pat on the back. When I told him about it, he looked me up and down and said, "Hmm...well, you should probably start lifting some weights. You look a little sunken in." He had the worst bedside manner I've ever experienced.



"And I think that the 'belly shots' done by the evening NEWS when reporting their Health segments, should be banned.  It's a Human Rights issue - I hope that someone will recognize themselves on one of those NEWS 'belly shots' and tke the Reporter and Television Station for compromising their right to Privacy."

I noticed after posting that I didn't complete my thought - what I meant to write was that "I hope that someone will recognize themselves on one of those NEWS 'belly shots' and take the Reporter and Television Station to Court for compromising their right to Privacy."

 

 



Original Post by: angela71

I work in an orthopedic doctors office and I have to tell you how way off base this article is. We are required by the state to take a persons weight, height and blood pressure. By no means would I ever treat someone differently beacuse of what those numbers say. However, I will say that I cannot tell you how many people come in to our office that are morbidly obese (for whatever reason) and have complaints of knee pain, ankle pain and foot pain. Your knees are like a second set of bathroom scales. They hurt when you carry around that much weight, and whether you want to hear it or not your weight effects your health. I struggle with weight too, but it isn't a doctors place to coddle the patient's to make them feel better about themselves when they are personally responsible for their own health. We refer our patients to a weight management program to help them learn about nutrition and exercise. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, people.


Thank you for speaking on behalf of your office.  Once I began to have difficulties with my tiny feet, my back and my knees, I knew I needed to make a change.  And because we live in an era where consumption of super size portions is encouraged, noone (friends) would even agree with me that I was 50 pounds over weight.  But I will NOT be crippled by unnecessary weight!  I watch family members and friends SUFFER from conditions that are eventually eleviated by appropriate weight loss. 

I can honestly say that my weight gain was due in large part from sitting on the sofa every evening placating my heart and dulling my mind with food.  Well, no more.  I will only sit on my pity pot for so long, then I have to sit on the airbike and pedal! Personal responsibility is the name of the game here.

It is hard to hear the truth when the truth signals a need to change.  But when I get sick and tired of being sick and tired, I change.



it is amazing though at the amount of obese nurses and doctors...



I actually have not experienced this at all. My OB was proud of me last time I went in for losing the weight I had. Before that, they told me that I needed to be more healthy, and explained to me how to do that. I didn't feel like they were judging me. I just felt they were (rightly) telling me that I needed to take responsibility for my health. Maybe some health care professionals judge, but let's not lump them all in together.



    I was told by a Doctor I needed to stop eating deserts. What he could have told me is I am a Diabetic. But he didn't do the tests. I had to go to a free screening in Kissimmee and take the note to a different Doctor and still. I was told to eat less sugar. Lose some weight.  It took a visit to a cardiologist to get told, from that test, I was diabetic. He referred me to a Dietitian and Nurse for weight loss and exercise. I started the 10000 step program. I also suffer from metabolic syndrome which the cardiologist discovered. I have low good cholesterol. All this should have been diagnosed an treated five years earlier than it was. But that first Doctor assumed from my size I was lazy, and overate. Two things that are the exact opposite of the real me. In fact when I went to the dietician the first thing I had to do is eat 1000 more calories. Sounds wrong, but I lost 70 lbs eating more and walking. It raises the metabolism which burns more calories than any exercise I was capable of.

       When I went to a podiatrist for my feet he told me "those are not so bad for a diabetic" he gave me a high priced pill. It did nothing. Since I have found out my problem was my cholesterol medication not my diabetes. My feet are a lot better now.  I found out the best cure for diabetic feet is exercise, soap and cold water, and a daily examination. I have no pain in my feet now. The podiatrist should have told me this.

I still weight 314 lbs. The conversation with my current Dr was. "Good you didn't gain any weight and try adding 5 lbs to the weights you lift" I need vitamin D supplements also. All my other tests A1C etc I passed. As to my weight as long as my waist gets smaller, I lost 6 inches, I and my Doctor are happy.  It took years of bad advise to get this large and Doctors need to understand quick cures are not as important as changes for life. I eat better, I exercise more effectively, and I feel good about myself. The last is the easiest because I never bought the idea it was me and not some illness.

As my high school coach put it, "I don't care how much you weigh, I care how many times you can run around the field and how hard you play."

I liked his attitude and adopted the philosophy. I can still run around that field.

-DAN-



For many years, before I was even overweight, I've had huge problems with heartburn and acid reflux.  I would just suffer through it because I didn't realize that there was more out there than just Tums and Rolaids.  Once I went to a walk in clinic because it was so bad, and the doc gave me Nexium, but only a trial format because he said I should go to my regular doctor to get a prescription for the long term. 

My regular doctor says I get heartburn because I'm overweight so I can't get any medication.  Even though I've had it at my regular weight or highest weight and my sister has it even though she's thin, she believes its only because I'm overweight. 

If a thin person came in with the same problem, they would get the medication, but I can't because I'm overweight?



First off, I am 39, 5'1" and 109lb.  So I'm not complaining about my current weight and my doctor has nothing to comment about (I only see my OB/GYN on a regular basis since I'm never sick; honestly).

 

Anyways,  one thing stood out for me on this article, quote: "...obese people as lazy, lacking in self-control, ..."  Well, I must admit, I personally think a lot of overweight and obese people are lazy and lack self-control.  There, I said it.

 

How come that when I talk to many of them that I find out that they hardly exercise at all, not even walk their dogs on a daily basis?  It's bed, kitchen, car, maybe work, car again, couch, bed.

And what about the calorie consum?  In order for me to maintain (just MAINTAIN, NOT LOSE!) my weight, I cannot go beyond 1,300/day!  that's not a lot!  That does not allow any fast food, donuts, desserts, whatsoever unless I do some vigorous exercising.   Heck, if I could consume 2,000 calories a day I'd be in heaven!

 

I'm sick and tired of all the excuses of overweight and obese people that they can't do anything about their situatuation and the complaining about how other people view them.  I know that there are exceptions, but those are very few. 

Please don't get me all wrong: those of you in this Forum who are still overweight are miles ahead of the curve just because you ARE reading articles like this and therefore are aware on where you are.

 

Bottom Line:  some self-discipline is necessary in all aspects of life: food, exercise, relationships (...Tiger Woods apparently lacks that totally Foot in mouth).  And I must say that with enough self-discipline, one can get his/her weight under control and live a healthier and more active life.



I am only 20 pounds over where I would like to be, a size 8, not a two. I DO NOT WANT TO BE WEIGHED EITHER. I have a knee issue, since I am 16 years old. I was a gymnast, a tennis player and an all around jock as a kid. Now, i am 53, and my knee is starting to act up the first time since the horrendous old school knee surgery I had at 16. I had a eye rolling, sarcastic, smirking old physician who just off the cuff suggested I loose 30 pounds. This would make me 105 pounds. And let's see, with out being able to exercise, like walk or run, I am going to do this by....??? Going down to under 1000 calories a day? Oh, that's a good idea..I can lay on the sofa and eat lettuce. Idiot.



Original Post by: annie1956

I am only 20 pounds over where I would like to be, a size 8, not a two. I DO NOT WANT TO BE WEIGHED EITHER. I have a knee issue, since I am 16 years old. I was a gymnast, a tennis player and an all around jock as a kid. Now, i am 53, and my knee is starting to act up the first time since the horrendous old school knee surgery I had at 16. I had a eye rolling, sarcastic, smirking old physician who just off the cuff suggested I loose 30 pounds. This would make me 105 pounds. And let's see, with out being able to exercise, like walk or run, I am going to do this by....??? Going down to under 1000 calories a day? Oh, that's a good idea..I can lay on the sofa and eat lettuce. Idiot.


Ok, so you're 20lb over and a size 8 (you don't say anything about your height).   But based on the above info, you can probably easily eat about 1,500cals/day and still loose 1 pound per week. Without exercising.  Either plug in the numbers on this site, or check out www.livestrong.com and go to the tab that says "The Plate".  Create a profile and plug in your numbers.  It works!  Good luck!



Original Post by: barbara2705

First off, I am 39, 5'1" and 109lb.  So I'm not complaining about my current weight and my doctor has nothing to comment about (I only see my OB/GYN on a regular basis since I'm never sick; honestly).

 

Anyways,  one thing stood out for me on this article, quote: "...obese people as lazy, lacking in self-control, ..."  Well, I must admit, I personally think a lot of overweight and obese people are lazy and lack self-control.  There, I said it.

 

How come that when I talk to many of them that I find out that they hardly exercise at all, not even walk their dogs on a daily basis?  It's bed, kitchen, car, maybe work, car again, couch, bed.

And what about the calorie consum?  In order for me to maintain (just MAINTAIN, NOT LOSE!) my weight, I cannot go beyond 1,300/day!  that's not a lot!  That does not allow any fast food, donuts, desserts, whatsoever unless I do some vigorous exercising.   Heck, if I could consume 2,000 calories a day I'd be in heaven!

 

I'm sick and tired of all the excuses of overweight and obese people that they can't do anything about their situatuation and the complaining about how other people view them.  I know that there are exceptions, but those are very few. 

Please don't get me all wrong: those of you in this Forum who are still overweight are miles ahead of the curve just because you ARE reading articles like this and therefore are aware on where you are.

 

Bottom Line:  some self-discipline is necessary in all aspects of life: food, exercise, relationships (...Tiger Woods apparently lacks that totally Foot in mouth).  And I must say that with enough self-discipline, one can get his/her weight under control and live a healthier and more active life.


And this has to do with the article how?

You are entitled to your point of view; but I don't think you are in the right thread.  This article was about how patients are treated by their doctors; not about your opinion about how overweight people are lazy. 



I agree with Barbara. There has to be some sense of responsibility for over weight people. I'm aware also, that there are medical conditions that affect peoples weight, however eating and not exercising is not one of them.



maryfway said,

"Anyways,  one thing stood out for me on this article, quote: "...obese people as lazy, lacking in self-control, ..."  Well, I must admit, I personally think a lot of overweight and obese people are lazy and lack self-control.  There, I said it."

Everyone's situation is so different, how can you justify judging people in this manner? So, everyone should what... Look or act like you? How about respect for people no matter outward appearance?



@ maryfway:  quote "And this has to do with the article how?"

I guess I was trying to say that I understand why doctors could have negative attitudes towards some of their patients.  Because I sometimes have a negative attitude once I see how little a person does in order to keep their weight and health in check.

 

And I'm sure those doctors who realize that a person might still be overweight but has already made great progress towards losing weight would quickly revise their attitue and switch into another gear and further encourage his/her patient.



When I moved away from home and went to college I gained a lot of weight. I knew it, my family knew it, everyone could see it, but I felt like it was my business. I went to the doctor for a visit that had nothing to do with weight, and as usual was weighed before I saw him.  When he came into the exam room, he takes out a graph that he has prepare of my weight gain over about 2 years, and proceeds to tell me that I need to lose weight.  It was embarrassing and made me feel awful.  It also did not make me start to lose weight.  That came later, without the guilt trip from the MD.



@sheilammessenger:

quote: "Everyone's situation is so different, how can you justify judging people in this manner? So, everyone should what... Look or act like you? How about respect for people no matter outward appearance?"

 

No, of course not!  It's totally none of my business how anybody looks or feels.  But I don't want to hear the complaints anymore!  If you are happy with the way you are, then good for you!  I personally don't know a single overweight or obese person that is truly happy with their weight.  Some might have given up and play it cool, but not a single one is happy about it.  As soon as you start a conversation about their lifestyle they start admitting that they should exercise more, skip that daily grande latte and stay away from that pizza place.  I respect people that work hard, in life and on themselves.  I don't like lazy people and people with no self-discipline.



Original Post by: hgielrehtaeh

I have been heavy since I was 9 years old. Nothing changed - I just gained weight. I've done diets, I followed Weight Watchers. I cut my calories so low I'd get heart palpatations. I would exercise every day of the week. I've been on Calorie Count, counting calories for YEARS.

My weight keeps going up. My doctors would tell me to lose weight and to "start eating breakfast" and "just move your body". No kidding. And when I would tell them that I eat breakfast and work out, they'd look at me with pure unadulturated skepticism.

On top of all this - I have irregular, really bad periods. I would always suggest that maybe I had PCOS. I would ask for blood screens, and the doctors would run them, then tell me I'm fine.

This spring, I had an 8 cm ovarian cyst that ruptured. I FINALLY had a diagnosis for PCOS. And my doctor suggested I see a nutritionist. WTF!

So, I went to an endocrinologist who studies PCOS, metabolism, etc. I am extremely insulin resistant, and now take 2000mg Metformin (a diabetes medicine that helps women with PCOS, even if we don't have diabetes) a day. For the first time in my life, I lost weight, and it wasn't because I was starving myself. My body is starting to work right. YAY!

But, I've been dealing with this since I was 9, most likely. I'm 26. If doctors didn't have such a sizist attitude, I could have been healthy and happy this whole time. But my body wasn't processing energy properly. Thank you to all the doctors I saw (10, in total!) that didn't look past their own prejudices to see that there were internal problems causing those external issues.


I had basically the exact same thing going on! I am around your age too - 27.  I am finally on metformin and some other stuff and everything is regulated, and I have energy, and I am losing weight!  Yay for us!  It is sad that it took so long to get it sorted out, I wish that they could have figured this out a long time ago so I didn't have the teenage years and most of my '20's the way they have been.. but it's better now than never!  Good luck!



Original Post by: aubreyshreve

I'm only about 5-10lbs overweight by the BMI charts for a medium frame and my height... I'm 5'0" and weight 125-130lbs give or take a couple lbs depending on the time of the month. For a medium frame, the BMI charts say 113-123lbs. I've had 2 Dr's tell me I should weight 95-100lbs!!!! UM NO! Maybe if I had a petite frame... But I don't! Some don't take into acct that not all short people have petite frames! They don't measure for the frame size. They just look at the numbers on the scale. My OB has never said anything other than "awesome job at losing the baby weight and then some!" The nurses say they're jealous. : )


Thank you so much for this!  I am 5' 2" and for the longest time have been at 130 pounds.  I got the same thing from all the doctors (minus the baby weight comment because I was not married and had no kids at the time).  Because of bad diet (and a bad influence -- I got married to an active guy who could eat anything he wanted and still keep the weight off), my weight ballooned and all of a sudden, I had to keep watch on the weight, but I'm still sensitive when people ask me what weight I'm shooting for.  Frankly, I don't know.  My body seems to want 130 . . .



I work in healthcare and my first thoughts when I saw the title are "it's not just health care people who discriminate".....and then reading the comments, the "barbaras" of the world have the same discrimination and stereotypes towards big people, and there are millions and millions of "barbaras" in the world....very sad indeed.  Not all big people are undisciplined, lazy asses that eat junk food all the time.



"I hate Lazy people with no self-displine"

There a lot of skinny people would could fit this discription too.



@ a 1uglybroad:  please read my comments carefully:  I did NOT say ALL big people are undisciplined, but most of them are.  That's just my personal experience with friends, family, coworkers and people I know.

 

@ sheilammessenger:  also, please read my comment carefully:  I said "I don't like lazy people and people with no self-discipline."  So I did not say "hate" and I did not say that I just meant big people.  That statement goes for everybody, big, small, tall, old and young.



Agreed you said "don't like" - you still link lazy and no self-discipline to being overweight.. see your original post. This is flawed.



My father suffered from extremely high blood pressure most of his life.  He was diagnosed at age 17 when there were no treatments for it.  As he aged, he became obese.  He always got the "weight lecture" when he went to the doctor, so, even though he knew he should go, he would say, "I want to lose a few pounds before I go."  I imagine this happened when his bp was going up, unbeknownst to him.  He had a stroke at age 61, and when he was in the emergency room, his "top" number was over 200.  He died a couple of weeks later without regaining consciousness.



After reading some of these comments, I feel blessed to have a doctor who cares so much about me...and shows it.  My doctor always takes the time to explain weight loss, calorie intake, activity, etc. with me.  He is always real with me too.. like when I say "Dr. Wu, I was on a 1200 calorie diet for a year and didn't lose any weight!"  He said to me.. "That is not possible... you must have cheated a lot."  He was right.  I did cheat a lot!  So now with his advice... I am trying the 1200 calorie lifestyle again and it is working pretty well so far.  My weight loss is really slow, but with the weight training I get at my physical therapist's office, I am gaining muscle, so I try not to get discouraged!  For all of you people that have doctors who do not work with you on weight loss goals... find a new doctor!  There are good ones out there that actually care about your overall health... whether they make $300 from the advice or not!



My doctor walked into my room at my last visit, threw my chart on the desk and said she gives up on me, she can't help me anymore.  Done.  Don't come back.  Go to a weight clinic.  I am about 60 pounds overweight.  :-(



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