Anti-Fat Bias in the Healthcare System

So often women with lipoedema/lipedema report going to their doctors looking for solutions or even just a diagnosis and being told that it’s their fault, that they need to diet and exercise, and to come back after they have lost weight, etc etc etc. Only with lipedema, a genetic disorder, diet and exercise don’t work. This is a hurdle for women with lipedema who end up having little or no healthcare support in the journey finding answers and solutions.

Peter Attia’s TED talk addresses this so eloquently. One of my favorite TED talks, he describes his own internal bias when confronting issues with patients concerning obesity and his own transformative process.

Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?

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About catherineofcambridge

I am a Professor at Cambridge College in Massachusetts, teaching leadership development, research methods, and psychology. I am currently completing a Ph.D. in Media Psychology at Fielding Graduate University concentrating on empowering women who experience the distortions of body image as represented in the media. I am founder of lipoedema simplified LLC, dedicated to raising awareness and providing education for lipedema/lipoedema. I am the producer of the documentary and training programs about lipoedema: You Mean It’s Not My Fault: Lipoedema – A Fat Disorder.
This entry was posted in anti-fat bias, compassion, lipedema, obesity, weight stigma. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Anti-Fat Bias in the Healthcare System

  1. Cynthia says:

    Wow, what a powerful speech. What a human doctor – and I do not say that lightly. as a sufferer of several rare, orphan adipose disorders, I have fought everybody, including my family and even myself about what has been happening to my body over the last fifty years. I just wish that more doctors would think outside the box. I have NEVER eaten badly or unhealthily, I was a champion athlete but still today at 61, I have problems even trying to keep my body weight at a constant level. I won’t go into how much that the problems of being overweight ruin your self image, your self esteem, your relationships, your potential and so much more. All I ask is that doctors listen, that they continue to educate themselves on rare issues, which might not be anywhere near as rare as anybody thinks, that they try to understand that to hear for the two hundreth time that you need to diet, when living on a 1000 calorie a day for forty years has never changed anything, it is demeaning, it is insulting and it hurts, time and time again. We need to look at things differently and hopefully more doctors will finally understand what this doctor is trying to tell us.

  2. I have watched Peter Attia’s TED talk numerous times, I am always so moved by his willingness for honesty and vulnerability. When I was diagnosed with lipedema, I found I had to come to terms with my own internalized self-judgement and phobias towards fat, it was directed towards myself. It’s been quite the road! Thanks Cynthia.

  3. Patricia Kouassi says:

    I have written to 34 ;leading Professors in the UK. my topic “Lack of Duty of care to suffers of Lipoedema. Also wrote to the chief medical officer, Royal College of Nursing, Nursing and medical Council, and a few others.
    My hand out 13 pages
    Letter 11
    I am in my twilight years with severe Lipoedema,
    Good but frustrated GP and cardiologist,
    Had an accident and was in St Thomas Hospital 44 days. I cannot fault the attention I received.
    Not easy explain things when one is in severe pain
    Severe pain is with us all the time.
    ????
    Sending more letters out in the next few days and it is to those who can change things.

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