Many medical students are biased towards fat people

Avatar for cmkarla
Registered: 01-03-2001
Many medical students are biased towards fat people
Tue, 05-28-2013 - 8:23am

According to this new Health Day News article, overweight people may run into bias when seeking medical treatment. "Two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people, a new study found.

The study authors, from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, noted the anti-fat stigma is a significant barrier to the treatment of obesity. They concluded that teaching medical students to recognize this bias is necessary to improve care for the millions of Americans who are overweight or obese.

"Bias can affect clinical care and the doctor-patient relationship, and even a patient's willingness or desire to go see their physician, so it is crucial that we try to deal with any bias during medical school," study lead author Dr. David Miller, associate professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said in a center news release. "Previous research has shown that on average, physicians have a strong anti-fat bias similar to that of the general population. Doctors are more likely to assume that obese individuals won't follow treatment plans, and they [doctors] are less likely to respect obese patients than average weight patients." read more

Your thoughts? Have you ever encountered problems seeking medical attention because of your weight?


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2013

I know many people who have been to the doctor and no matter what, they are always told that it is a result of being overweight. On the other hand, I also know a man who is 345 lbs, has high bp and diabetes and he claims his doctor says his weight has nothing to do with it and his problems have contributed to his weight.

I do think that doctors need more extensive training in weight management since so much of the population are overweight.