Why Do Obese Patients Get Worse Care? Many Doctors Don’t See Past the Fat

More than 15 million Americans have extreme obesity – a body mass index of 40 or higher. Yet, the health care system lacks the appropriate attitude, equipment and common practices needed to properly treat obese patients. Patients who struggle with obesity are often met by practitioners who are unwilling to treat them due to fear of penalties and lack of ability to see beyond their weight. The experiences shared by obese patients in this article illustrate how assumptions and biases around weight in the medical profession has led to disparate treatment, frequent misdiagnoses, and ineffective patient care.

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