Author Topic: Weight article  (Read 4173 times)

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perpetua

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2013, 03:33:18 AM »
I don't wish to speak for gollymolly2 but I think what she's saying is that it's possible now doctors will see the obesity as a disease in itself in overweight individuals who are otherwise healthy and try to "cure" them anyway. So, along the lines of "Your blood pressure's fine, everything's fine, you're completely healthy, but you have the disease of obesity. We must cure this disease. Here's a diet plan..."

I'm not really sure about this one way or the other. Generally I don't like the over medicalising of life stuff.

Fleur

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2013, 05:28:17 AM »


Loved the article you posted, TurtleDove! I find it very inspiring. I am still a bit guilty of using the scales rather than the tape measure, and that isn't always accurate.

jilly

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2013, 06:27:20 AM »
I've always tried to remind myself that my correct weight is the weight I am when I eat mostly healthily and exercise.  I think there is too much emphasis on appearing healthy rather than being healthy.
http://www.beautyredefined.net/redefining-health-part-1-measuring-the-obesity-crisis/

Slartibartfast

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2013, 10:24:10 AM »
Our society definitely puts too much emphasis on weight and appearance, but . . .

If you're fat (not "weigh a lot," I'm talking literally "has a lot of fat tissue compared to body mass"), you're not as healthy as you could be.  Even if all the numbers are good, you're at increased risk for a lot of nasty things.  That doesn't say anything about how healthy you are compared to other people or compared to some chart, but it does mean there's room for improvement, and a good doctor should be willing to help you figure out the best way to make those improvements if your current body composition is impacting your life in a negative way.  That's very different from "overweight," which is usually some combination of actual body fat and a larger-than-society-says-is-optimal bone structure, and is highly genetic.  Plenty of "overweight" people ARE as healthy as they can be, and we as a society need to grow the heck up about that already and stop harassing people for it.  Plenty more aren't, but are close enough to healthy that medical intervention is unnecessary.

(And yes, this applies to underweight and "ideal weight" people too, having too little body fat to be healthy, but these people don't get as much street harassment for it.)

Fleur

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2013, 10:33:45 AM »
Our society definitely puts too much emphasis on weight and appearance, but . . .

If you're fat (not "weigh a lot," I'm talking literally "has a lot of fat tissue compared to body mass"), you're not as healthy as you could be.  Even if all the numbers are good, you're at increased risk for a lot of nasty things.  That doesn't say anything about how healthy you are compared to other people or compared to some chart, but it does mean there's room for improvement, and a good doctor should be willing to help you figure out the best way to make those improvements if your current body composition is impacting your life in a negative way.  That's very different from "overweight," which is usually some combination of actual body fat and a larger-than-society-says-is-optimal bone structure, and is highly genetic.  Plenty of "overweight" people ARE as healthy as they can be, and we as a society need to grow the heck up about that already and stop harassing people for it.  Plenty more aren't, but are close enough to healthy that medical intervention is unnecessary.

(And yes, this applies to underweight and "ideal weight" people too, having too little body fat to be healthy, but these people don't get as much street harassment for it.)

This is an excellent post, and articulates what I would like to say quite well. I especially liked the part about comparison-I don't compare myself to others, I just compare how I feel at my healthiest to how I feel at my least healthy. In my case, weight, but more importantly body composition, is a contributing factor. Is it the only one? No, of course not! But it is one.

perpetua

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2013, 10:55:12 AM »
Our society definitely puts too much emphasis on weight and appearance, but . . .

If you're fat (not "weigh a lot," I'm talking literally "has a lot of fat tissue compared to body mass"), you're not as healthy as you could be.  Even if all the numbers are good, you're at increased risk for a lot of nasty things.  That doesn't say anything about how healthy you are compared to other people or compared to some chart, but it does mean there's room for improvement, and a good doctor should be willing to help you figure out the best way to make those improvements if your current body composition is impacting your life in a negative way.  That's very different from "overweight," which is usually some combination of actual body fat and a larger-than-society-says-is-optimal bone structure, and is highly genetic.  Plenty of "overweight" people ARE as healthy as they can be, and we as a society need to grow the heck up about that already and stop harassing people for it.  Plenty more aren't, but are close enough to healthy that medical intervention is unnecessary.

(And yes, this applies to underweight and "ideal weight" people too, having too little body fat to be healthy, but these people don't get as much street harassment for it.)

I agree with you, and I'm one of those 'fat' people.

Sophie Jenkins

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2013, 11:29:12 AM »
I'm not sure you completely understood my point. I didn't list out everything possible that could be a health issue; however, it was supposed to be assumed as there.

And a responsible doctor actually gets to know their patient (and their health) before making interesting assumptions based on first sight as someone walks in the door.

I understood the point that you actually wrote out perfectly.

Your point was apparently unclear, due to the fact that the things you listed as being the indicators of being "perfectly healthy" can be entirely unrelated to sleep apnea, bad knees, cancer risk, and diabetes risk.

As a person who is moderately overweight (and was underweight at one point for reasons no one can explain, but it wasn't an eating disorder, which everyone and their mother felt free to accuse me of), I have never in any of my interactions with any of the many doctors I've seen had them go straight to my weight as a cause.

If you see a doctor for bad knees and they can see you're overweight, they will bring it up because it's something that can help.

If you see a doctor for sleep apnea and they can see you're overweight, they will bring it up because it's something that can help.

If a doctor is really, truly only focusing on weight to the exclusion of all other ailments, then that doctor is wrong. But I have met hundreds of doctors in my medical and social lives, and not one single doctor would ignore the actual health of the patient in front of them, regardless of weight.

I'm actually really horrified that you seem to believe that all doctors see overweight people as sub-human. That's incorrect and also incredibly judgmental. If you expect them to see you as sub-human, you're going to see it even when they're simply being responsible medical professionals and bringing up an issue that might help improve your health.

RingTailedLemur

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Sophie Jenkins

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2013, 01:44:48 PM »
http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/?s=Doctor&submit=Search

It is never rude for a doctor (a medical professional) to discuss weight when it is applicable to the health situation that a patient came in to discuss.

And I don't doubt that doctors who only see weight exist- there are people in every single profession who are jerks. What I said was that in my very large and diverse sample size of doctors I know, none are like that. They exist. But that doesn't mean all doctors who discuss weight are insensitive jerks.

People should be happy in their own skins. People shouldn't be treated poorly because of their appearance. Not ever, not for any reason.

But that doesn't mean that the medical profession needs to stop addressing weight. If a doctor failed to prescribe the proper medication to someone because she was following the patient's request to totally ignore weight, and the patient ended up hospitalized or dead because of that oversight, it would be a travesty. I hope we can agree on that!

silvercelt

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2013, 05:10:46 PM »
And a responsible doctor actually gets to know their patient (and their health) before making interesting assumptions based on first sight as someone walks in the door. Not to mention, has the ability to realize that weight (high or low) isn't the cause of every ailment - which is the cause of what I meant about the reluctance of many overweight people to get proper healthcare for themselves. I can't tell you how many colds I've had that have, somehow, been attributed to my weight (because thin people never get a cold?). At some point, you start feeling like going to the doctor isn't worth it - it gets weary to have a doctor never see you as a human instead of the weight.

That's what I'm hoping may start happening with this new designation. Maybe med professionals will start seeing the human. (I can dream anyway! :D )

You are very correct with this:


Quote
You can be healthy and overweight. You can be unhealthy and overweight. (Same for normal and underweight people.)

This. Yes, yes, yes. 
I am overweight.  I have an underactive thyroid and have been on synthroid for years.  (Contrary to popular belief, being on this does not make you lose weight).
I have had doctors who immediately make all sorts of assumptions about what is actually wrong with me- and contrary to what they may think based on initially seeing me, any health issues I have are not because of my weight.

I have asthma, which I have had since I was 5 and UNDERweight.  I have a bum knee because of multiple dancing injuries from when I was a teenager, and I am hypothyroid- the knees, asthma, and hypothyroid combo is what makes me keep the weight on. 

The number of times when a nurse or doctor's aid has taken my blood pressure repeatedly because it is just "not possible" that someone overweight has excellent BP is insulting.  The number of times I have gone to see a doctor for something and been brushed off with a "You just need to lose weight" is disheartening.   I spent a MONTH home from work because I had vertigo so badly that I couldn't walk upright, let alone drive.   After a month of pleading with my doctor to stop blaming it on my weight, I was finally referred to an ENT who diagnosed me and actually fixed my inner ear problem within a week.

I have a doctor now who listens to me, and treats my other issues separately from my weight, thank goodness.  Yes, I need to lose weight, and we are working on that so that I can be healthier, but he can see past that to treat me for what is actually wrong.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 05:16:42 PM by silvercelt »

nuit93

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2013, 11:16:21 PM »
Our society definitely puts too much emphasis on weight and appearance, but . . .

If you're fat (not "weigh a lot," I'm talking literally "has a lot of fat tissue compared to body mass"), you're not as healthy as you could be.  Even if all the numbers are good, you're at increased risk for a lot of nasty things.  That doesn't say anything about how healthy you are compared to other people or compared to some chart, but it does mean there's room for improvement, and a good doctor should be willing to help you figure out the best way to make those improvements if your current body composition is impacting your life in a negative way.  That's very different from "overweight," which is usually some combination of actual body fat and a larger-than-society-says-is-optimal bone structure, and is highly genetic.  Plenty of "overweight" people ARE as healthy as they can be, and we as a society need to grow the heck up about that already and stop harassing people for it.  Plenty more aren't, but are close enough to healthy that medical intervention is unnecessary.

(And yes, this applies to underweight and "ideal weight" people too, having too little body fat to be healthy, but these people don't get as much street harassment for it.)

I agree, and that's speaking as someone who most definitely is overweight (and I'm not big-boned by any stretch, nor am I especially muscular).

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2013, 02:45:08 AM »
If a doctor is really, truly only focusing on weight to the exclusion of all other ailments, then that doctor is wrong. But I have met hundreds of doctors in my medical and social lives, and not one single doctor would ignore the actual health of the patient in front of them, regardless of weight.

I'm actually really horrified that you seem to believe that all doctors see overweight people as sub-human. That's incorrect and also incredibly judgmental. If you expect them to see you as sub-human, you're going to see it even when they're simply being responsible medical professionals and bringing up an issue that might help improve your health.

I have permanent physical damage from a fatphobic doctor. My right inner ear is permanently damaged from a case of incredibly severe tonsillitis that my primary physician refused over and over to refer for surgery, even after I was suffering for a year. She told me to lose more weight, and it would go away, despite the fact that infections don't work that way. She ignored the fact that the constant pain and infection had me practically bedridden and continued to harp about my weight at every appointment. I was not going in for sleep apnea, painful knees, high blood pressure, or diabetes. I was going in for swollen tonsils. What in the Sam Hill does fatness have to do with swollen tonsils?

I have received plenty of other nasty treatment from doctors who look at me like I'm some kind of worm when I come in to their offices, regardless of my ailment. I have gone in for broken bones, migraines, sinus infections, whooping cough, mysterious seizures (that turned out to be atypical migraines), and anxiety attacks, and been actually harassed about my weight, even after telling the doctor that I have a history of an eating disorder. None of the conditions I went in for could be connected to my weight, but doctors made it all about "Fat person, too stupid to realize she's killing herself by being fat". The sanctimonious lectures, the blatant refusal to believe that I had an eating disorder (I have had more than one doctor accuse me of lying about it, because I'm too big to be bulimic), and the refusal to listen to me telling them that I know the information.

Thank God I have a good doctor now, but I avoided medical care like the plague for years, because I was so tired of going home in tears after a doctor's visit, usually followed by a relapse into my eating disorder. My therapist and nutritionist referred me to my current doctor, so she knows to believe me.

cwm

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2013, 11:35:17 AM »
http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/?s=Doctor&submit=Search

It is never rude for a doctor (a medical professional) to discuss weight when it is applicable to the health situation that a patient came in to discuss.

And I don't doubt that doctors who only see weight exist- there are people in every single profession who are jerks. What I said was that in my very large and diverse sample size of doctors I know, none are like that. They exist. But that doesn't mean all doctors who discuss weight are insensitive jerks.

People should be happy in their own skins. People shouldn't be treated poorly because of their appearance. Not ever, not for any reason.

But that doesn't mean that the medical profession needs to stop addressing weight. If a doctor failed to prescribe the proper medication to someone because she was following the patient's request to totally ignore weight, and the patient ended up hospitalized or dead because of that oversight, it would be a travesty. I hope we can agree on that!

I agree with the bolded. But too often doctors will bring it up when it has nothing to do with the presentation of symptoms in front of them. I've gone in to see my doctor about a suspected scratch on my cornea. I saw a doctor in the same practice as my primary care physician, the same one I've had for decades. My PCP knows I'm on medications for ovarian cysts and have had mild arthritis in my knees since middle school. I'm a bit overweight, but still healthy. And the doctor I saw wanted to put me on a weight management program and discuss diet and nutrition. I can't even begin to see how that might be related to a scratch on my cornea. My stomach fat didn't reach up and scratch my eye. I was clumsy (nothing new there) and leaned over, not looking where my face was, and got it too close to a plastic sheet cover. End of story.

The emergency room doctor I went to see had nothing to say about my weight. The urgent care clinicians I've seen for ruptured ovarian cysts, sprained ankles, and gallstones had nothing to say about my weight. My joint care specialist doesn't care about my weight, as it's not making any further impact on my bad joints. My specialist for the PCOS hasn't said anything about my weight. My primary care doctor hasn't said anything about my weight. Luckily I've only had the one doctor say it, but he had the absolute least reason to bring it up in the first place.

I've had a friend turned away from a free mental health clinic because the clinician told her that the only reason she needed "those drugs" was because she was so fat. No, she has a diagnosed mental illness and can't afford her medication right now. The county has helped her for years. But the one doctor that turned her away made her afraid to go back to the clinic. Now she's unmedicated because of one fatphobic comment made by one doctor who had no reason to discuss her weight with her.

wolfie

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2013, 11:42:39 AM »
I am fat. I am probably obese. I am also actually pretty healthy - I rarely go to the doc because I just don't need to. I recently went and the doc made a comment that I am a bit short for my weight and should think about growing a bit. :-) he said it in a nice manner and well - honestly he had every right to bring it up because well.. I can really stand to loose the weight. But he is gentle about it and makes a point to say BMI is not the end all be all - but that being healthy is the point. So if anyone in upstate NY is looking for a doc that doesn't harp on weight PM me - I love my doc and wouldn't mind sending more patients his way.

TurtleDove

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Re: Weight article
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2013, 11:46:30 AM »
I am not discounting the experiences people have related here, but doctors, especially primary care physicians, are supposed to care about a patient's overall health.  I generally only go to the doctor for thyroid issues (I am hypothyroid) or for sinus/allergy issues or for joint issues (I have gone through physical therapy for various hip and foot problems related to my athletic endeavors).  I am weighed each time I go to the doctor and asked about my nutrition and excercise.  I am also asked each time about my smoking and drinking habits, whether I have a gun in the house, what medications I am taking including over the counter, whether I have traveled to a foreign country, whether I feel safe at home, and various other questions that are routine and could provide the doctor with insight into my overall health.  I don't take these as any sort of condemnation of me or my answers but rather a desire to be aware of the things that could affect my health. I would expect the doctor to discuss with me any concerns she might have.  For example, as a non-smoker if I suddenly told her that I was now smoking a pack a day I am betting she would address this with me - this is not good for my health, whether it caused or exacerbated my hip tendonitis or not!

I understand that some people are more sensitive about their weight, and I wasn't there to hear exactly what various doctors said to specific patients, but in general, I do think doctors care about their patients' overall well being, including potential issues with food, drugs, alcohol, or abuse at home. For a doctor to address weight with her patient is not a persecution of the patient but rather a desire for the patient to address any issues that patient may have that could affect her health.