Are Doctors harming patients by advising them to lose weight?

Are Doctors harming patients by advising them to lose weight?

Well it seems Doctors just cannot get it right. One day they are criticized for not having open conversations with their patients about their weight, the next they are attacked for making patients feel bad when they do.

A story published on The Daily Caller announced that two Psychologists believe Doctors are causing psychological and physical harm by advising overweight patients to lose weight.

The psychologists,  Joan Chrisler  and Maureen McHugh believe that Doctors are causing harm to overweight and obese patients by:

  • Being disrespectful or fat shaming
  • “Tutting” or making facial expressions at a patients measurements or weight
  • Presuming that the patients medical symptoms are intrinsically linked to their body size

According to Chrisler and McHugh, this leads to:

  • Patients feeling stressed
  • Patients delaying seeking medical treatment
  • Failure to follow standard investigative protocols

Presenting her thoughts at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, it seems that the author herself is unable to substantiate her claims. To quote from Campus Reform Chrisler acknowledged that there is no way to definitively prove causation for her claim, pointing out that “it would be unethical to do such an experiment.”

Chrisler also claimed that it was not possible to determine how healthy a person was based on their weight, an argument which of course contradicts decades of medical research.

I have nothing but utmost respect for the Doctors I work with and think they do an amazing and often thankless job. But I wonder, what are your thoughts? Has your Doctor helped or hindered you along your weight loss journey?