Physician Discusses Stigma Of Obesity

In a column in the Huffington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/19), preventive medicine physician Scott Kahan, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, wrote, “The National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and numerous other scientific organizations regard obesity as a disease, yet most people continue to dismiss obesity as a ‘willful misconduct’ and label people who have obesity as lazy and weak.” Dr. Kahan argued, “In fact, the vast majority of Americans, regardless of weight, are eating unhealthily and barely moving. … Yet, while we instinctively comfort and support normal-weight persons who suffer from hypertension or diabetes or other chronic diseases, even though unhealthy eating and inactivity were likely involved in developing those diseases, we ridicule and punish persons with obesity,” a stigma to which physicians themselves are not immune.

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