How Weight Bias in Medicine Can Lead to Missed Diagnoses and Physical and Mental Pain

Monday, May 13, 2019

"Women with higher BMIs are delaying canceling or not getting preventative healthcare more often than thinner women," said Rebecca Puhl. "When people experience weight stigma, they sometimes internalize these experiences, blaming themselves for the stigma they face. And that happens particularly in women." Even if people with obesity seek treatment, they might not get as thorough of an evaluation. A 2014 study found people with obesity believe they receive less attention from their doctors. "Doctors spend less time in appointments with people with higher body weight," Puhl explained, noting the study also found that obese women believe doctors do not include them in decisions, while women with normal BMIs said their doctors are more likely to spend enough time with them and include them in decisions.