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Training Cuts Student Medics ‘Anti-Fat’ Prejudice April 16, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Health, News.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Students training to enter the health service need better teaching in order to prevent discrimination against obese patients, a study suggests.

Researchers said previous work had found high levels of “anti-fat prejudice” among health professionals.

But a trial of 159 students, reported in the Obesity journal, found this prejudice could easily be lowered with appropriate teaching about the effect of genes and the environment on obesity.

Over the past decade, prejudice among the public towards overweight people has increased by 66%, the international team of researchers said.

Some studies have shown that among those working in the health professions, including doctors and nurses, the rate of prejudice is even higher than in the general population.

Study leader Dr Kerry O’Brien, a lecturer at the University of Manchester, said being taught solely about diet and exercise implied that obese people were just lazy and gluttonous, but to a large extent weight status is inherited and health professionals needed to be aware of other influences.

He said “blaming the individual” was not always obvious but could mean doctors or nurses spent less time with obese patients or did not take their problems as seriously.

“The key is not to be stigmatising these patients.

“Making people feel bad about their condition is not going to help.”

More here.



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