Doctors need to be taught how to discuss their patients’ excess weight

Doctors need to be taught how to discuss their patients’ excess weight

In my experience doctors aren’t the least bit shy to talk about their patient’s weight. Even if they haven’t actually weighed me, and so don’t have the slightest idea what my weight is, or how much exercise I do (usually about 3 km walking and 17 km bike riding per day if they bothered to ask) or how healthy I am they always remark on my weight.

“You have asthma, that must be because of your weight.”

“That infected toe must obviously be because of your weight.”

“Your BMI isn’t within the normal range, so we better send you off for a stress test of your heart” (which my husband absolutely creamed, I might add, since his work involves him running up and down stairs all day and he is as fit as a fiddle).

“I better test your blood pressure again, it couldn’t possibly be normal.”

All of the above is obviously code for “I can see you are fat, so you must be a sick, lazy slob.” I recently had to attend an arthritis clinic because of my knee (also not related to my weight, but rather to my genes, since both my sisters have arthritis in exactly the same knee). I saw a parade of different therapists and they all mentioned that I would need to lose weight since it wasn’t good for my knee: tell me something I don’t know and wouldn’t do if I could! I had to patiently explain to each one that I am on a particular medication for nerve pain (lyrica) which made me put on a lot of weight (pain or fat: which would you choose?), this is how much I exercise I do, look how muscly I am and muscle weighs more than fat, etc. etc. Boring! All they could say was “that really sucks for you”: you think??





About SBolithoe

Librarian, author, blogger, presenter, history buff and animal lover.
This entry was posted in Advice, Obesity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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