Report by an international group of Clinicians highlights how the caring professions are failing people with obesity.
Over 100 medical and scientific organisations world-wide have indicated their support for a consensus statement that recognises unscientific public narratives of obesity as a major cause of weight stigma and calls for strong policies and legislation to prevent weight-based discrimination.
In a paper published in Nature Medicine, a team of Clinicians and researchers led by Professor Francesco Rubino from King's College London, collated evidence which shows that weight stigma can cause both physical and psychological harm, and impacts on people seeking and receiving adequate clinical care. The report found that Healthcare providers are a common source of weight stigma which is typically based on the assumption that obesity derives primarily from a lack self-discipline and personal responsibility. The authors report that this doesn’t fit with current scientific evidence demonstrating that weight regulation is not entirely under voluntary control, and that biological, genetic and environmental factors critically contribute to weight gain.
The group calls on academic institutions and professional bodies to incorporate formal teaching on the causes, mechanisms, and treatments of obesity so that health care providers are better educated to support people and end weight stigma.