SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (Good Things Utah) – One can hope they can go into the doctor’s office and receive helpful and unbiased care, with no strife. However unfortunately, healthcare providers are often among those with the highest rates of negative attitudes towards fat people. Research shows doctors spend less time with fat patients and that their belief systems about fat bodies can lead to misdiagnosis, late diagnosis and sometimes no diagnosis at all. Fat people’s bodies are often blamed for their symptoms, and many times the only solution given is weight loss. Body Acceptance Coach, Kelsie Jepsen, wants to educate people how they can rally behind weight-neutral care.

Jepsen hopes to change the stigma and help people feel safe going to the doctor. She believes the best way to do that is to ask your medical provider for weight-neutral (or even better, weight-inclusive care). She says to start by researching weight-inclusive doctors in your area.

Here are some helpful sites: 

1. Association for Size Diversity and Health 

2. Fat Friendly Docs 

3. View doctor’s profiles on Health Grades 

You an also call ahead of your appointment and ask for weight neutral care. That could sound like, “I’m looking for a doctor who is willing to provide weight-neutral care. That means treating me without diets or weight loss advice of any kind. Is there a doctor in your office who can do that?”.

You also have the option to decline the weigh-in at the start of your appointment. This can trigger negative feelings and/or disordered eating by the person being weighed, but it can also trigger practitioner bias. You can decline the weigh in by saying, “I’m actually going to decline the weigh-in today.” “If it is found that you need my weight in order to prescribe certain medications or procedures, I will be more than happy to be weighed at the end of my appointment.”

Getting blood-work done and have your blood-pressure taken is a more accurate measure of health than weight. Blood-work and blood-pressure will show many of the diseases you may be at risk for. You and your doctor can figure out a road map for improving your health.

By taking the focus off of weight and/or weight-loss, you can foster a positive and trusting relationship with your doctor because you know you will be given evidence based and diagnostic care. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect when visiting the doctor.

For more information visit Jepsen’s website and book a free discovery session on Zoom.

Social Media:

Instagram @iamkelsiejepsen

Facebook @embodyloveworkshop