Are you tired of your doctors telling you that your weight might be contributing to your medical conditions? If so, an article on Yahoo Lifestyle suggests just avoiding those doctors and the topic forever.
In a new column, fat activist Sophia Carter-Kahn shares a guide for how fat people can “advocate” for themselves: not on behalf of their health, but on behalf of their emotional safety.
Carter-Kahn’s first suggestion is to “Find a doctor you can trust.” Instead of relying on doctors who believe in those silly traditional notions like obesity can lead to problems such as heart disease and diabetes, Carter-Kahn suggests finding a doctor who believes in the “Health at Every Size” philosophy. Proponents of HAES reject dieting and support what's known as "body diversity." Carter-Kahn provides a list to “fat friendly health professionals.” The site promises that some of the doctors will never even bring up weight at all.
Carter-Kahn’s second suggestion to fat people is for them to have a “script” prepared in their heads in case their doctors happen to bring up weight. The linked blog post encourages patients to tell their doctors that weight loss efforts often fail and to demand doctors show studies that say weight loss is possible.
In a similar recommendation, Carter-Kahn encourages patients to make sure the discussion is about them—which would be fine, if weight wasn’t a part of their health and usually a relevant topic. She writes:
For example, if your doctor says, “Have you considered going on a diet?” You could say, “I’d like to keep the focus on my rosacea, and not on my weight.
It is unclear how often someone actually goes to a dermatologist for rosacea and then ends up in a discussion about dieting.
Carter-Kahn also advocates for avoiding the scale entirely, lest it be triggering:
For me and others who have a history of disordered eating or body image issues, being weighed at the doctor’s office is a triggering experience. If it’s not relevant to your visit and will be stressful for you, consider opting out, or asking to be weighed facing away from the scale.
Her last point reminds patients that they have “options” and, if they actually happen to be too fat to receive medical care, that it’s the fault of doctors for not making extra large equipment:
You always have the option of a second opinion. If a provider doesn’t have a BP cuff big enough, a gown large enough, or the skills to draw your blood? Remember that it is their job to provide health care to all their patients. It’s not your fault they aren’t prepared to provide that service.
While it is not technically your doctor’s fault if they cannot physically accommodate you with their equipment, it is your fault for refusing to listen to medical professionals who may believe this is a sign of a problem.
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