The weight of stigma: Heavier patients confront the burden of bias

By Kelso Harper
Scientific American

Melissa Krechmer, a social worker in Philadelphia, grew tired of hearing the same refrain from each of her doctors. “I’d go to my allergist, and they would [say], ‘You need to take your Zyrtec, but you also need to lose weight,’” Krechmer says. “It’d be every time, no matter what type of visit.” This went on for years, even as her repeated attempts to lose weight only led her to disordered eating. It made Krechmer stop seeking care altogether.

Krechmer’s story is not uncommon. Many heavier patients report avoiding medical care for fear of mistreatment because of their size—just one of myriad ways weight stigma, or anti-fat bias, manifests in health care. In this short documentary, Scientific American partners with Retro Report to dive deeper into common misconceptions about weight and to examine how weight bias impacts heavier patients.

Read the full article here.

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