Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fat, fat, fat--everyone's favorite

….Our pal Tara Parker-Pope, late of the Wall Street Journal, and now with the health blogger-in-chief job at the New York Times, loves obesity—as a subject. Almost daily, you can get in a rumble over there!

…Check this out…

…Should doctors lecture their patients about weight? In this particular episode of “As the World Eats” at the Times, a physician said he was giving up on nagging on Subject A. Whew. Where does he live?

….This, of course, was followed by megabytes of comments about weak fatsos, personal accountability (yes, check in at the fat desk), how many resources obese people “gobble” up, how they lost weight why couldn’t anyone, eat less--exercise more, it’s simple, it’s impossible, it’s just the self-loathing, some doctors are fat, and on and on.

…Apparently the great American public (or the NYT reader part of it) thinks they have a handle on this.

…Another good resource that came this week is an issue of The Prepared Patient ( In this one, the idea is posited that overweight people need fewer lectures and more medical care.

…If weight is the first issue doctors hop on, they may miss something else.

…Fearing lectures, people may ignore symptoms and dodge the doc, too. One interviewee said this was “medicalizing body size.”

…Some doctors hate to even touch larger people. Studies show they order fewer tests for them (hey, they won’t be around long, why bother). They don’t have the right size equipment (speculum, blood pressure cuff). Certainly those little paper towels they give you to cover yourself with are a joke.

…One interviewee recommended trying to find a doctor who treats gay, lesbian and transgendered people—they “get” diversity.

…HA is leaning toward creating a new medical specialty (revenue stream, docs!)—preventivist. These docs can lecture, have nurses call you, send out diaries, schedule copaid weight-ins, whatever—if you want it!

…Otherwise, when a fat person comes in, treat the problem.

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