Fat people often avoid the doctor. They are often pressured to lose weight and feel ashamed and defensive. Doctor’s offices routinely weigh clients unnecessarily and unknowingly trigger this negative reaction. Many of my clients have gone years without contact with a physician and run a high risk of having an illness go undiagnosed until it is in it’s later stages or too late to treat successfully.
Much of the time fat people are not taken seriously about physical complaints. They are seen through the lens of a medical fat-bias and often marginalized when they have legitimate complaints. Further exploration on the part of medical professionals into the problem and potential contributing factors takes time and is often overlooked. Patients are often told to lose weight to resolve the problem and will go without needed care due to feeling hopeless. Remember, weight is ONE potential contributing factor to our overall health. Problems fat people have can and are seen in less fat and thin patients alike. It is not causal.
Fat people often don’t feel the need to participate in healthy activities because they assume they have to be thin to be healthy. Many of my clients begin to take nutritional supplements, comply with needed medications, move their bodies, practice better balance, resolve emotional stressors, eat some nutritious foods, quit smoking and get regular medical check-ups once they realize that they can be healthy at every size and don’t have to wait for the day their body is thin. That day may never come for a lot of people and you can improve your health right now.
Fat people are more likely to attempt weight loss to be healthy and, instead, go through frustrating cycles of weight loss and gain which have shown to contribute to heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and eating disorders. Yo-yoing is not only strongly associated with these health issues, but increases the natural set-point weights over time. I’ll save the dangers of weight loss drugs and risks involved in weight loss surgeries for another blog, but note that many risky behaviors in the name of weight loss=health have resulted in death and physical unwellness.
Naturally thin people aren’t exactly coming out ahead here either. Many naturally thin people will avoid the doctors believing that they are thin, which equals healthy. They can be careless about nutrition and health-promoting activities. The medical fat-bias leaves thinner patients under diagnosed and overlooked due to the assumption that thin is healthy. The person may smoke and get little or no exercise as well as poor nutrition and high stress and likely never have it addressed unless they complain. When thinner patients complain (often with similar complaints heavier patients have) they are not given recommendations to lose weight, but will have it addressed more directly.