'Size profiling' by doctors reflects anti-fat prejudice

  • Article by: Abigail Saguy , Special to the Washington Post
  • Updated: January 26, 2013 - 5:52 PM

Medical assumptions by doctors are hurting patients.

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jdlellis1Jan. 26, 13 6:53 PM

Here's a surprise, yet another article allowing someone to claim victim or discrimination!

createdequalJan. 26, 1310:03 PM

As an adult, you're free to live your life how you want, knowing full well how it will affect your health. However, as a parent, you have an obligation to your child to see that s/he is given only the healthiest options for living their lives. Think what you want about Michelle Obama, but the lifestyle she is promoting for our children suggests she has given a great deal of thought to how children react when exposed to certain realities. to follow in order to lead a healthy lifestyle

cootoriginalJan. 27, 13 2:53 AM

What you do with your genetics is the question. Stuff your face and sit on your backside, or eat sensibly and continue staying active. The author inaccurately gives genetics/biology the entire blame. Whatever is meant by "environment" is unknown.

lonstarJan. 27, 13 5:21 AM

Doctors are people and people, especially experienced ones, tend to use mental shortcuts.....Some outstanding presenting characteristic; age, weight, gender, presentation encourages the doctor to throw a shortcut at you so they can go on to see the 30 other patients they have to see that day.....But this means you're free to use shortcuts too - if you think your doctor is not taking the time necessary to evaluate your condition, talk with them about it, and if they aren't responsive to your concerns change your primary care physician now before it's too late.

nonewtaxesJan. 27, 13 6:32 AM

Obesity may have a genetic component, however, simply physics is really involved. More calories consumed relative to calories expended results in fat. Both variables can be determined by the individual. If you eat to much and move too little you will get fat.

monkeyplanetJan. 27, 13 6:57 AM

I would suspect that anyone who's seriously overweight has or will have health complications from it as they get older. While that doesn't justify doctors' blaming everything on it, overweight people need to stop expecting everyone else to make excuses for them. The "genetics" thing is just bogus. Of course there is variation in body types, from slender to stocky, but "stocky" doesn't mean a huge gut or large rolls of fat, which I see with alarming regularity in America today. Why is it that the US is fatter than any other country? Because of junk food and a sedentary lifestyle or because of our genes? The latter doesn't even remotely make sense.

stplooklistnJan. 27, 13 7:35 AM

Dated example, fen-phen prescription? A lot of what the author is blaming on others, making the obese feel less lovable, may in fact be their own disappointment in not having the type of body they want. People have no ability to chose skin color so to co op "profiling" is hyperbole. If a doctor didn't discuss an obvious medical concern, obesity, they would be remiss in their duties.

jimjimjimjimJan. 27, 13 9:32 AM

People choose to be fat like people choose to be gay. Prove that that people choose to be fat or gay. Do I overeat because I am fat or am I fat because I overeat. For those that are thinner, they make a choice based on bias, prejudice and sometimes hate. I know many obese people that can't lose a pound by dieting. So do all the weight loss programs you see advertised on TV. They don't work or work temporarily and are a billion dollar scam being perpetrated on people that society has declared too fat to live among us. I maintain a healthy diet withing the caloric guidelines for my age and walked 30 minutes a day on a treadmill at 4 mph. I did not lose one pound. I was born gay and I was born predisposed to be heavy. Live with it. I do.

k11m11p11Jan. 27, 13 9:38 AM

"Why is it that the US is fatter than any other country?" (From MN DNR Magazine, Sept-Oct 2012 issue:) "Ever wonder why a two-liter bottle of pop costs about $1.99 and a gallon of organic milk $5.99? 'Organic farm products are much more linked to the market-based supply and demand system,' says Jim Riddle, organic outreach coordinator for the University of Minnesota's Southwest Research and Outreach Center. 'They are competing against a highly subsidized system.' For example, of a Twinkie cake's 37 ingredients, at least 14 are federally subsidized products such as high-fructose corn syrup, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Between 1995 and 2010, $16.9 billion in federal tax dollars subsidized such food additives. In contrast, apples received only $262 million in subsidies during that same period. If these subsidies went directly to consumers, each of the nation's 144 million people would get $7.36 to buy Twinkies (or foods with similarly subsidized additives) and 11 cents for apples."

basia2186Jan. 27, 13 9:48 AM

I could lose 25 lbs. My wt. gain coincided with: menopause, quitting smoking, getting a new hip, and 4 months with a broken back. I used to have a bionic metabolism. I could eat and drink everything I wanted to. Since the weight gain however, it is more difficult to move around. I feel downright thin at times when I see folks almost as wide as they are tall. Some so obese they are in a scooter, no doubt because their knees and backs are shot. I was recently diagnosed with a weird kind of inflammatory arthritis. It explained a lot from the hip replacement to the compression fracture in my spine. It took the Mayo over a year to figure out my chronic pain. For some of the obese, get another Dr. I now know that my pain made me inactive, not the other way around. Found out that I must begin to exercise every day to stop further damage to my joints. Sometimes it much more than gluttony that causes the weight gain.


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