Weight bias in health-care has 'crushing' impact, says patient - CBC.ca
May 23, 2022 1 min, 22 secs

Whether it was a doctor who remarked that her hiking boots were just "for show," or a doctor who asked if she was going to get a fat bike when she expressed an interest in cycling, Babb has encountered weight bias many times.

In a health-care setting, this happens when the provider holds negative thoughts or incorrect beliefs about weight, which either unintentionally or intentionally impacts the quality of care they provide.

"It's just so crushing," said Babb, a Dartmouth, N.S., resident.

The report notes that weight bias is associated with adverse physiological and psychological outcomes. .

Michael Mindrum, who practises medicine in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, recently wrote a blog post about weight bias and discussed instances where he's been guilty of it.

Mindrum said the curriculum in medical school didn't examine the science behind obesity, and his residency didn't provide further insight.

Mindrum said weight is regulated in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.

Mindrum said that while things such as behaviour change, nutrition and movement can lead to weight loss, they're just part of the solution.

He wants to see an overhaul in how obesity care is provided in Nova Scotia, including additional support for obesity medication — which isn't covered by pharmacare — and bariatric surgery.

Mindrum said bariatric surgery reduces the risks of dying and heart failure, and can make Type 2 diabetes go into remission and reduce blood pressure.

Mindrum said overhauling obesity care also means making more subtle changes in health-care environments, such as having larger chairs and gowns at hospitals.


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