Too often, MDs blame obese patients' ills on fat

For years, overweight and obese patients have argued that physicians are too quick to attribute their health problems to their weight--claims that have been met with great skepticism in the medical community. Now, however, research is beginning to suggest that there is a real problem here. For example, two studies in the journal Obesity Research in 2003 found that many doctors have negative attitudes toward fat people, including one by the University of Pennsylvania and another by Yale University. Meanwhile, perceived mistreatment is changing obese and overweight patients' self-care patterns; for example, another study found that obese women delayed cancer screenings more than other women, in part due to perceived disrespectful treatment and negative attitudes by providers.

In response to these concerns, Kaiser Permanente is working with Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity to educate providers about weight bias, in a program that went online in December.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this article from The Washington Post