Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Larger Patients Seek Less Lecturing, Better Health Care

If you're a heavy person, you probably dread medical visits that seem to center on weight, regardless of whether you come in for an unrelated complaint or a routine screening. Even so, don't let that stop you from getting the health care you deserve. Larger patients can take control of their health care experience through communication, planning, assertiveness and even a bit of attitude. Some doctors suffer from ‘fat distraction,’ Blank says. ‘They get excitable about fat and overweight and find it hard to pay attention to anything else. You have to help them get past this; they're stuck.’ ‘Multiple groups of health care providers have demonstrated biases and prejudices against overweight adults,’ says Rebecca Puhl, Ph.D. She is the director of research and anti-stigma initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. Although larger patients visit the doctor more often, they get less preventive care than normal-weight patients. Fewer clinically obese women undergo screening for colon and cervical cancer. New evidence suggests that these women are also more likely to delay breast exams and mammograms.”


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