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A Taboo Subject – You’re Overweight

Why is it easier to prescribe a procedure than it is to tell a patient to lose weight naturally?

Why are we so afraid to discuss someone being unhealthily overweight? Why are we more afraid of offending the person than looking out for their health? Why are people more afraid of admitting they are overweight and doing something about it than they are of dying from it?

Are we really benefiting anyone by not discussing obesity?


Some people blame doctors for not discussing the subject with their patients, but will their patients really listen to them? An NPR article called “Why Doctors and Patients Talk Around Our Growing Waistlines” blames both the patient and the doctors.

And I agree. Both parties are to blame.

Doctors NEED…I repeat…NEED to discuss diet and exercise with their overweight patients…heck I even think they should discuss it with their normal weight patients! Doctors are respected figures who can influence our decisions concerning our health. They can’t worry about whether or not they offend their patients when they tell them they are overweight. I’m sorry, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Maybe if there were some incentive for doctors to discuss diet and exercise with their patients, they would. I mean we give them incentives to prescribe drugs…

Anyway, I do realize how touchy a subject it is to bring up with a patient.

It can be a very upsetting discussion. No one wants to hear that what they are doing is bad for them. And let’s face it, mainstream media has made us associate pretty negative images and words with being overweight.

And you don’t always know how the discussion will be received. You want it to encourage people to take charge of their health, but instead it can sometimes make people want to give up.

As the NPR article states one woman started cancelling her doctor’s appointments because she hadn’t lost enough weight. She felt ashamed.

Why would a doctor then want to discuss obesity with his/her patients if it is just going to scare them off?

So what then is the answer?

Maybe we all just need to grow a pair and stop being babies. Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable to talk about.

BUT YOU NEED TO DO IT! I mean 74.1% of the US population is overweight and 30% of those overweight people are obese.

Obesity and it’s health risks aren’t just going to disappear! Start talking people!

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