A study conducted by researchers Joan C. Chrisler and Angela Barney of Connecticut College’s Department of Psychology found that fat-shaming at a doctor’s office can have negative consequences to patient.
These findings were presented at the 125th annual convention of the American Psychological Association. The study used 46 previous studies to read about biases that doctors have towards obesity. The study also compared reports that patients filled out about their general practitioner.
Some doctors actually blame obesity for a range of obese patients’ health problems. Their solution, unlike treatment for average weight patients, is to lose the extra pounds. Typically a doctor recommends running medical tests in order to get to the root of the problem. With an obese patient, that’s not the case, and that can further the patient’s illness. It can possibly even result in death.
This kind of treatment is not only disrespectful, it’s unethical. Chrisler suggests that it’s even a form of malpractice. When a patient is treated as such, they’re unlikely to return to that same doctor or even seek medical care at all.
This kind of patient treatment is unacceptable in a doctor’s office. It’s not acceptable for the doctor, nurse, intern, receptionist, or anyone else in the office to treat patients that way. All patients the best treatment, regardless of size.