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healthcare provider and biases towards overweight patients

Many health care providers hold negative attitudes and stereotypes about people in larger bodies. In this discussion forum, we will explore the impact of weight bias and stigma on quality of care and patient outcomes, as well as reflect on the presence of weight discrimination in everyday life.

  • Read Impact of weight bias and stigma on quality of care and outcomes for patients with obesity
  • Read Fatphobia In Medicine Is A Serious Issue — Here Are 22 Stories From Plus-Size People About How It Affected The Care They Received
  • Reflection prompts you can use include, but are not limited to:
    • The pandemic has caused many medical clinics to transition to virtual care. Predict how this has altered care for those in larger bodies.
    • Just like everyone else, health care providers are influenced by the media. Think back to a movie or TV show you’ve watched that featured a character in a larger body. How was this character portrayed? Were they in a leading or supporting role? Was their size the target of jokes and/or a problem that needed to be fixed?
    • Health care providers may over-attribute symptoms to obesity, resulting in patients not receiving the necessary diagnostic testing and/or treatment. Do you know of another instance where negative attitudes (explicit and/or implicit) toward a stigmatized group lead to harm?
    • Can those in smaller bodies experience weight discrimination? If not, why not? If so, how is it similar/different than weight discrimination experienced by those in larger bodies?