Doctors Are Fat-Shaming Patients, And It's Putting People's Lives At Risk

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Have you been to the doctor recently? You probably should have. But more often than not, people have their reasons for not regularly going to see a physician. For some it's money, for others it's scheduling...but for a lot of people it's for a fear of being judged.

There's a new trend coming to light where patients feel they are being discriminated against because of their weight. It's estimated that 65% of patients are told by their doctor that the "only option" to fix their problem is by losing weight. That, in itself, is a problem.

While it's absolutely fair to say there are people who would benefit from losing weight, to assume that it cancels out all other ailments would be wrong.

Lynn Behnke was in a car accident which completely destroyed her foot. She needed five operations and was in so much pain she had to miss work. After some time, she decided to go back to her surgeon to try and get some help.

He told her to go on a diet.

"If a skinny person came in with that kind of pain, they would have been given pain medication," said Behnke. At 5ft6 and 200lbs, she was considered obese and her complaints of pain were ignored.

Behnke 'fired' her doctor and went to find a new physician once the pain was too much to handle.

"I told my new doctor, 'I suppose this will get better if I lose weight.' He said, 'Not necessarily,' " Behnke said. "He said, 'You've had nerve damage, joint damage, tissue damage and muscle damage; it's not necessarily going to go away.' "

"It's like they make the diagnosis as soon as they see you walk through the door," says Miki Merritt, Vice President of the local chapter of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.

Miki MerritWashington Post

This isn't a one-off case either. Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania both conducted studies into these claims of attributing all problems to weight and their results were rather concerning.

Continue reading to find out what the studies found, and to read other stories of misdiagnosis due to dismissal surrounding a patient's weight. One woman could have died if they hadn't caught her actual illness in time.

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