If you’re overweight or obese, every ailment or illness is your fault. Or at least that’s what many doctors think according to recent research.
A sprained ankle? It’s because you’re too heavy.
A winter flu? You don’t take care of your body, so your immune system is weak.
Diabetes, stroke or heart disease? Stop eating so much and being lazy.
Patients expect their doctors to treat them with respect no matter what they look like. But studies show that there is an anti-fat bias throughout the healthcare system. Instead of looking for the real cause, doctors often blame excess weight.
For example, a US study of 5,000 medical students found that 57% feel negative about overweight patients.
Another study of 53,000 people found that overweight patients get poorer treatment.
“It’s unfortunate,” says Shelley Thomson.
“Your size should not determine the quality of your care. And healthcare practices need to be aware of this often unconscious bias.”