Posts Tagged ‘health stigma’

Make Believe About Obesity Blended with a Social Agenda

February 3, 2024 — We confess to a significant amount of fatigue with a social agenda related to size and weight getting overlaid on the medical concern of obesity. The bickering of people who want to make believe that obesity is a purely social issue can be too much to bear. This has been one of those weeks. Moral […]

Reason and Emotion in Obesity Care for Young Persons

December 18, 2023 — Both reason and emotion play a role in obesity care for young persons. Feelings about this subject are strong. The experience of living with obesity is intense for families, children, and youth. Recent reporting makes this clear. Equally clear is reporting and new data that tell us we’re not coping with it very well. Severe […]

Obesity Care, Stigma, and Medical Ethics

December 9, 2023 — Yesterday, we had the opportunity to offer (and gain) perspective on stigma and discrimination related to obesity. It came in the rich context of a three hour discussion on “Ethics, Equity, and Stigma in Obesity Treatment and Policy.” The Division of Medical Ethics  of NYU School of Medicine co-sponsored the discussion with the Comprehensive Program […]

Human Diversity, Identity, and Disease

November 19, 2023 — “I am.” These two words define so many struggles we face in public discourse today. People define their own identities in diverse ways and fiercely defend them. Disparage a person’s identity and you are attacking them. What follows is not gentle, rational, or easily calmed. Right now, we see how potent it is in public […]

Weight Loss, Obesity Care, and the Import of Words

October 1, 2023 — Words matter. They convey both facts and feelings and the wrong words create misunderstandings that are sometimes irreparable. Because of this, we notice the imbalance in public discourse about new medicines for obesity that more often casts them as weight loss drugs than as medicines for the care and treatment of obesity. Fortunately, others are […]

How Self-Care and Self-Shame Become Barriers to Health

September 10, 2023 — The impulse to do it yourself is strong – even in healthcare. Self-care can be essential for good health, but because it has its limits, it can easily feed into self-shame. In an essay for the New York Times, pediatrician Aaron Carroll shares his own experience with this: “Despite all the advances in science, we […]

Perspective on Bias in Diabetes and Obesity

August 8, 2023 — Folks who have not detected a shift in public discourse about obesity are simply not listening. In that shift, we detect some easing in longstanding bias about this disease. But perspective is difficult. Is the proverbial glass half full with progress to celebrate? Or is the remaining void a reminder that overcoming weight bias and […]

Health Stigma and the Human Impulse for Denial

June 11, 2023 — Health stigma presents a difficult problem because it prompts competing human impulses of cruelty and denial. Together, these impulses get in the way of better health. Attach stigma to a disease or a health condition and the people who have it begin to feel socially undesirable and isolated. So understandably, they may hide the condition, […]

Coming to Terms with the Biology of Desire

June 5, 2023 — O‌‌ne of the neat tricks of semaglutide and tirzepatide is their unexpected ability to shift the frames of bias through which we look at obesity and human behavior. Neuroscience and behavioral psychology have long told us the human desire for food is not purely a matter of choice. Yet in addressing obesity, weight bias and […]

If We Cancel Obesity, Will Weight Stigma Fade?

May 29, 2022 — Public health should stop talking about obesity, says a policy brief from University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health. “Replace assignments connecting ‘obesity’ and health,” suggests the brief. Cancel the word obesity and weight stigma will fade. That seems to be the thinking there. At the other extreme, we have folks who love to […]