Weight Bias

by laleskamichelle on September 11, 2013 - 12:17pm

Specialists treating eating disorders may be biased against overweight people, according to a study made by Yale University.

Medical care specialists are usually link to weight bias, and those who treat eating disorders are not the exception. This study made by Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University has shown that is very common that psychiatrist, therapists or social workers have negative thoughts about obese patients. 94 per cent of the specialist consulted agreed that these patients must be treated with compassion and respect, but in the other hand 49 per cent believed these patients don’t have enough motivation to change their lifestyle. They also commented obese patients have poor self-esteem and no willpower.

Most of eating disorders specialist focused on anorexia, and had left a side the overweight issues, being the anorexia an urgent problem. I think no one is perfect, as a doctor is very difficult to be always fair with all your patients, but at the end, the most important is to be respectful and try to not judge the patients.



I completely agree with the last sentence of your post. I think equality towards patients and respect is one of the most important values a specialist can project towards his subjects. Although it is important to consider that they may not be all wrong either. When conducting research it is infinitely important for all aspects to be considered and recorded in order to eliminate the margin of unknown error. The fact that people being studied can have low self-esteem can ultimately vary the results of the experiment or research. The mental state of the patient is important because it influences their actions and abilities to make rational decisions or obtain motivation. In my opinion, the fact that specialists are considering this aspect does not mean they are being bias, but rather just trying to consider the possible influential factors.

I agree with you, it is truly sad that people have this negative outlook against overweight people
when maybe people should be more proactive in helping them

It is completely unfair to be bias about obese people who need medical care. These people should not be treated with injustice as they deserve the same medical as everyone else.

Does the study also include the specialists’ thoughts on anorexic patients? In my knowledge, some of these kinds of patients also lack self-esteem and have a very difficult time changing their habits. On both sides (overweight and underweight people), it is a struggle to go back to a healthy weight. Not only that, there are no details about the ratio between the number of obese patients and anorexic patients. In the article, the most insulting comments against obese patients came from what specialists heard some of their colleagues say. I feel that the study was somewhat biased against these specialists, meaning that it was not a fair representation of the medical field. However, it is completely true that all patients should be treated equally. More research should be done to justify this point of view.