Every week we meet new people in clinic who are embarrassed or ashamed about their weight.
Very often this can be traced back to the negative attitudes and ‘fat shaming’ the overweight and obese are subjected to. Unfortunately, this seems to be part and parcel of modern society.
Whilst these attitudes are never acceptable they can be explained in most cases through the pure ignorance of people who simply don’t know any better.
Where these negative attitudes are unforgivable is in the medical profession. Very often people will tell us that they don’t want their GP to know about their surgery because they have are unsympathetic. Indeed, theer are cases of some medics being disciplined for the negative attitudes and insensitivity they display towards their obese patients.
What the bullies tend to forget is that it is only through good genetic fortune that they are not in the same position as those they are picking on.
We are learning more and more that our weight is a function of our genes rather than the environment we live in. the human body is hard coded to eat foot when it is available, to excess, and to store the excess food as fat. This is the consequence of thousands of years of evolution during which time food has been in scarce supply. In some parts of the world that still applies. Fortunately, in Europe that is not the case.
Here, because food is plentiful, there is a natural tendency to consume more than we need and as a consequence obesity rates are increasing. It is only those people who are able to overcome their body’s natural tendency to grow as big as it can, who are able to manage a healthy weight.
For this reason, many of the people we meet in clinic tell us they feel as though they are fighting a daily battle with their bodies, and that is precisely what is happening.
For this reason we need to begin viewing obesity as a chronic, recurring disease. ~When we do this people, including in the medical profession, will be inclined to take a more compassionate approach to those people who are experiencing the symptoms of this disabling disease.
Based on our knowledge today, the most effective form of treatment for obesity is weight loss surgery. Rather than feeling ashamed about exploring this treatment option, people should feel satisfied that they are taking ownership of the problem and seeking the treatment they need.
Hats off to all those people who do this !