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Physicians Have Less Respect For Obese Patients, Study Suggests

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posted on Oct, 22 2009 @ 10:09 PM

Physicians Have Less Respect For Obese Patients, Study Suggests

Doctors have less respect for their obese patients than they do for patients of normal weight, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests. The findings raise questions about whether negative physician attitudes about obesity could be affecting the long-term health of their heavier patients.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Oct, 22 2009 @ 10:09 PM
Even though this is just a study, a very small study it does bring a good question to light, do physicians really discriminate against heavier people.

I've never ran across "fat guy" discrimination so i thought this is a topic worth discussion.

(Why am i reminded of the "Fat Guy Strangler" episode of Family Guy?)
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 22-10-2009 by cenpuppie]

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 12:42 AM
They should! There is no reason for anyone to be fat or obese LET ALONE stay that way. Obesity is an excuse to be lazy and stems from ignorance.

I just can't bring myself to feel sorry for anyone who is in this condition. Now, if an obese person really wants help then he needn't see a doctor but a nutritionist. And people in the health field should try to help them, but they shouldn't be coddled, they need to know that their lifestyle is wrong and it's killing them, no need to sugar coat anything.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 01:05 AM
reply to post by gnosis111

Nah, discrimination of any kind shouldn't be tolerated. If you disagree, maybe we should start a list of the kinds of people who should be discriminated against and those who shouldn't.

There are lots of reason for a person to be overweight. Some may have medical and thyroid problems, others could be that way due to psychological issues. A lot of people have genes that predispose them to being larger than others. Besides, I know plenty of skinny people who do not exercise, make very poor nutritional choices and overall are just as unhealthy as a fat person. Just because someone looks thin doesn't mean they are in any better health than an overweight person.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 01:16 AM

Previous studies have shown that when physicians respect their patients, patients get more information from their doctors.

I know some people love to complain about everything and if it doesn't fit their POV they're going to hoot and howl like some kids who just found out mommy and daddy still do the naughty, so I'd like to see anyone say to some 800 lb person stuffing his face with big macs and hohos, "Yeah, there's not much we can do because you're too fat. You're probably going to die soon, and you brought it on yoruself."

Probably some people want to spend 1 million dollars on health care to excruciatingly extend the fat person's life when other people need life-saving health care too....

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 02:21 AM
reply to post by gnosis111

Agreed. There is no reason whatsoever, aside from over-eating, that a person should be obese. Don't give me all that "glandular" crap, your fat because you eat too much and don't exercise. Don't expect your doctor to sugar coat it either.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 02:37 AM
this was common when I worked as a Nurse.

Obese women who'd end up with advanced cervical cancer because they were
too embarrassed to go to their doctors because of their size for Pap Smears.

Of course, knowing that they'd be treated as less than human by those whose profession it is to treat people with dignity and respect regardless of their own biases, didn't help either.

Unfortunately, the treatment for cervical cancer is a lot more invasive and embarrassing than a pap smear but if normal sized women are embarrassed to get pap smears, imagine how obese women must feel?

The same could be said about most gynecological procedures and Obesity.

Even during childbirth, overweight women seemed to have higher "incidences" than normal sized women. Not because they were overweight, but because the attending physicians were less likely to take them seriously.
A lot of the time instead of preparing for a natural birth, the doctors would take one look at the women and start preps for a Ceasarian without the woman even trying for a natural birth.

Overweight women in places like The Pacific Islands have been giving birth naturally to babies for hundreds of years. So being overweight or Obese is no detterent for having a natural birth. But doctors, especially Obsteticians sometimes don't see it that way.

So yeah, in various settings I have observed this less than dignified service to overweight and obese patients.
I don't see why as their money looks just the same as a norman sized patients.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 03:55 AM

Originally posted by bagari
reply to post by gnosis111

Nah, discrimination of any kind shouldn't be tolerated. If you disagree, maybe we should start a list of the kinds of people who should be discriminated against and those who shouldn't.

I agree that in a perfect world there should not be discrimination, but if smokers get discriminated against because smoking is bad for ones health - especially by doctors - then by my reasoning, over-eaters should be made to realise that obesity is not ok. (I am a smoker btw).

There should be some form of public health dissaproval. Medical Health Schemes discriminate against people who indugle in high risk sports such as sky diving, mountain climbing etc.
This makes perfect sense to me.

I have friends of all shapes, sizes and colours, but I don't hesitate to make the chubby ones feel guilty on occasion about their beer bellies etc.
They don't take offence, and the non-smokers are free to rag me about my smoking.

One of the things that disgusts me about the US are the hugely popular televised eating competitions such as the The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Krystal Square Off hamburger.

I just don't understand it.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 02:29 PM
There are several reasons for someone to be obese.

Yes, overeating and lack of exercise will contribute to a weight problem in the majority of arguments there.

But psychologists DO recognize overeating as a form of food addiction. And just like tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, food addiction is devastatingly difficult to overcome.

Eating sugary foods provides a "high" for the eater, in much the same way drugs do.

I have an obese cousin who struggles with this. She's seeing a counselor, and with her help has started to get her eating habits under control.

I have a friend who is skinny as a rail and eats everything in sight. Turns out she is hyperthroidal, and her metabolism runs in over drive.

Not everything in life is cut and dried, obesity included.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 02:32 PM
A doctor's job is to help people be healthy. If people are choosing to live unhealthily, why should doctors care the same for them as they do someone who works very hard to live healthy?

I dont thin k they should be allowed to deny anyone care, but to expect them not to feel a little contempt for those that are counteracting his work? That's just silly.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 02:42 PM
My mother doesn't excercise I will admit, but neither do I.

I am on the limit of being underweight, and she is obese.

I eat breakfast...she doesn't. I have two sandwhiches and two chocolates for lunch; she has two pieces of fruit. I have a full dinner...excluding weekends she has a tiny portion.

For example, if we have stew, we have a nice big plate complete with mash potatoes and bread. She simply has a small plate of stew.

Oh...and I snack and snack and snack, and she doesn't.

Similarly, my dad eats much more than me, yet looks nearly annorexic, and also does not excercise.

Now tell me you can only be obese by overeating. It's complete and utter rubbish to state that, and doctors have told her to make appointments with them, but she simply doesn't have the time. She diets every year and never loses more than a few pounds to a stone...

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 02:45 PM
Wouldnt you if you spent your entire life and career focusing on the sole goal of keeping people healthy?

Just as there are only so many times a cop can shuttle the same addict or drunk to the tank with a smile on his face there are only so many times a doctor can be expected to say "you should stop showing bacon into your mouth" with a smile.

I'm sure the same attitude is found toward smokers and drinkers as well.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 02:53 PM
Not surprising at all. Certainly, if the patient is overweight, then the physician has expressed concerns in past visits with the obese patients. If the obese patient does nothing to change this, then why respect the patient if the patient isn't respecting the Dr.'s expert opinion?

Furthermore, obesity is a major cause of health problems. The obese could be viewed by Doctors as "clogging" up the health care system with avoidable illnesses. Yet they choose to live the life of excess that is perpetuating their weight and health issues. There is no respect to be given for those that go to the doctor looking for a patch and not for helpful medical advice.

Just my 2-cents

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 02:54 PM
Ok maybe I came off a little harsh, BUT having thyroid problem is treatable and can be avoided through the right diet and exercise, and psychological is bull, I've dealt with anxiety and forms of depression, you don't HAVE to eat.

I am so tired of all these excuses for peoples bad habits whether it be drugs, alcohol or eating, hell most child molesters and murderers have psychological problems but you wouldn't defend them in the same manner.

And yes there are so many skinny or "fit" people that are very unhealthy, I have a friend who eats so much fast food and garbage but he still looks thin. That doesn't changed the fact that most people are unhappy when they are overweight and this thread is about those people who go to doctors for their obesity and are treated with discrimination, when they do have complete control of their weight.

Our TVs, billboards etc. do nothing but ram bad food into our heads 24/7, but we still have CONTROL of our own damn minds and actions, no excuses.


posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 03:57 PM
Yes, I've noticed doctors are extremely biased in favor skinny people. I'm 5'5", 110 lbs., which is heavier than I've ever been but not fat by any means.

I had one doctor who put me on 1,500 calories a day as a "preventive measure" against possibly developing diabetes in the future. No fats, no sugars, of course. The diet he put me on also prohibited all carbohydrates. No carbohydrates resulted in severely reduced energy levels so I consulted another physicians who felt my diet was far too severe.

I believe I was the object of a doctor with an extreme fat prejudice. IMO anorexics might be happy with him but I think the man was fanatical.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 04:18 PM
The human body is an amazing thing - and it has a mind of it's own, it seems. Dieting without exercise is terrible for you, in my opinion. The reason I believe this is because our bodies have been programmed for food shortages/famine. If you strictly diet, your body will "think" that there is a famine, and save caleries whenever it gets any extra - in the form of fat. So, once you stop dieting, or "slip", it is stored in case of need.

LOL, enough of my rant - back on topic, I agree with the OP. I go to a pain management dr., and he readily admits that he gets frustrated when he has patients who are overweight. More weight causes more stress on the body, and contribute to pain. I'm fairly thin, so I get complimented by my doctors for taking "care of myself", etc.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 04:30 PM
All of my life I had been fit and slim. Then suddenly, just before I turned forty, I began gaining weight rapidly. In three months I had put on 80 pounds. My eating habits had not changed and I rode a bicycle 18 miles a day (round trip) five days a week to work out on base. When I went to the doctor to find out why, I was told to put my fork down and get a little exercise. Six months later I discovered that I had stage 4 breast cancer.

I went from 120-130 to over 200 pounds in three months. Since my cancer treatment, I have been unable to get below 170. I have dieted and exercised, but to no avail. I am in my fifties and stay around 185 now. Since my accident, I can no longer exercise. Is this my fault? I don't eat a lot of junk food and never fast food. I don't drink soda or sugary drinks very often.

Don't judge another person by your own standards. You may be able to keep a normal weight due to factors you are unaware of.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 04:37 PM
I know cars are not the same as human life but.....

If my neighbor comes over and I help him get his car running and notice the previous abuse, I am more likely not to worry as much about doing it correct, because I know he is just going to drive it again until it quits!
He is not going to change his oil, rotate his tires, or change his plugs!
Its easy to see this kind of personality, not just in obesity, but in all aspects of life and materials...including the persons own body......

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 04:40 PM

Originally posted by stumason
reply to post by gnosis111

Agreed. There is no reason whatsoever, aside from over-eating, that a person should be obese. Don't give me all that "glandular" crap, your fat because you eat too much and don't exercise. Don't expect your doctor to sugar coat it either.

I think this is an over-simplification. It's not just diet that affects obesity in otherwise normal healthy people, but also metabolism level, and exercise. the last two are related in that one can raise one's metabolism level by exercising. So it's a matter not just of diet, but if diet, exercise, lifestyle, attitude and mental condition.

And I agree with the smoking analogy. Smokers choose to engage in behavior that unfairly requires a disproportionately large share of our limited health care resources, on a statistical basis. The same could be said about obese patients. Most of them have options to exercise and control what they eat, just like a smoker has an ability to stop smoking. There may be a relatively small number of cases where a glandular disorder makes obesity harder to avoid, and if I were a physician, I would be more sympathetic to this subset of obese patients than obese patients in general who didn't have glandular problems.

While physicians may have less respect for obese people and I don't necessarily find that inappropriate, obese people should receive the same level of care if all else is equal. There's a thread on ATS about the aftermath of Katrina where the hospital lost power and some obese patients understandably received inferior care as some of them were too heavy to carry when they needed to be moved, so under extreme circumstances even well intentioned care providers may not provide equal care to obese people.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 05:15 PM
reply to post by darkelf

Keep your carbohydrate grams around 100 or lower per day and I guarantee you will lose weight. Complex carbs will make you fat faster than sugar and they are much harder to burn off. Get your hormone levels checked there can be an imbalance and this can lead to weight gain. Eat more fats (animal and nuts, not vegetable oils), fat improves brain function and helps communication between cells.

When your body doesn't have carbohydrate to burn you WILL burn fat.

There are exercises available to ALL physical conditions. You don't have to kill yourself in a gym to get sufficient exercise. Check out this website for help too.

Hope this helps and sorry about your misfortune, but like I said there are things you can do.

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