Research suggests physicians may harbor negative attitudes toward overweight, obese people

From EM Today 

On the front page of its Health section, the  Washington Post (1/29, HE1, Rabin) reports that “[o]verweight and obese patients have long complained that doctors treat them insensitively, and are too quick to attribute health problems to their weight,” according to several studies. Previously, these “claims of bias were…met with skepticism,” but recently, researchers at various universities and at Kaiser Permanente have conducted studies to determine the accuracy of the claims. Overall, the researchers found that “many physicians harbor negative attitudes toward fat people.” The findings raised concerns because such attitudes caused patients to delay physician visits. In fact, a “2006 study of 498 women, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found that obese women delayed cancer screenings more than other women.” Therefore, last year, researchers worked with Kaiser Permanente to create “a training program to educate health providers about weight bias; the program went online in December.”

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