What to know about obesity discrimination in healthcare Obesity inequality in health care or weight bias refers to the prevalent discriminatory and prejudicial attitudes towards people considered to be overweight. This can include beliefs such as heavy people are generally unhealthy, being overweight is easy to change and is usually a person’s “fault”, and heavy people should always try to lose weight if they are taking care of their health.
Research has consistently shown from reliable sources that healthcare professionals are biased against people considered overweight or obese. This forces them to behave in a discriminatory manner, for example by blaming serious health problems on the weight and, therefore, unknowingly ignoring other possible causes.
There is very little scientific data to support the attitudes of many healthcare professionals towards obesity. Although research shows a relationship between obesity and certain health risk factors, not all obese people have poor health. In fact, a 2015 study by Trusted Sources suggested that many obese adults were healthier and 2 to 50% “metabolically normal,” indicating a lower risk for cardiovascular and other diseases.
What to know about obesity discrimination in healthcare Weight loss will be followed by fatigue and constant fatigue. It can even contribute to the increase in the rate of obesity.
Keep reading to learn more about the inequality of obesity in healthcare, including information on why it exists, some statistics, and the negative effects of this stigma.
Does Obesity Inequality Exist in Health Care?
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Concerns about an “obesity epidemic” have prompted many healthcare professionals to discuss their weight problems with their patients.
But weight is one of the many factors that affect health. Also, the link between weight and health is not a one-way street. Just as a person’s health can affect their weight, their weight can also affect their health. Beliefs about overweight people often ignore this fact.
A 2015 PaperStrade source suggested that medical professionals report viewing overweight or obese people as lazy, weak, or lacking in self-control. Instead of seeing obesity as a health problem, they may think of it as a personality trait, seeing someone less compliant and more unhealthy based on their weight.
A 2016 study of credible sources involving nurse practitioners found that healthcare professionals made clear judgments about heavy patients. Nurses reported that overweight or obese people were not as good or as successful as those who were underweight, unmarketable and messy, dirty and unhealthy.
According to the 2015 article above, these biases may signal poor quality care for overweight or obese people. Healthcare professionals may suggest less patient-centered approaches and recommend treatment based on stereotypes and not on the person’s actual needs.
Physicians may also consider superseatimetric sources as weight loss can be controlled by a lack of discipline rather than a complex interplay between genes, environment, stress, overall health, and personal preferences.
Health statistics weight bias
Weight bias is increasingly common in healthcare. A 2016 study suggested that weight bias increased by 66% over the previous decade.
Some healthcare professionals may believe that frequent embarrassing discussions about weight can encourage weight loss. The data suggests otherwise. Shame is stress and it can lead to weight loss or even weight gain.
A 2014 study Source of Confidence Weight gain in women and people’s messages about their weight, they say Women with high weight levels are more likely to gain weight when they hear embarrassing or judgmental comments, but less likely to lose weight and were sometimes linked to weight loss.
A 2016 Paperstrade source pointed to the study showing widespread biases and inequalities. These studies reported the following statistics:
About 53% of obese women have heard inappropriate comments about their weight from healthcare professionals.
About 799% of overweight or obese people say they overeat to fight against weight inequalities.
About 52% of fe