Saturday, June 02, 2007

Signposts to Sanity

An occasional feature where your lovin' Granny points you at somebody else's really good stuff*

You may have noticed that I've recently added a new blogroll on Size Acceptance. If size is an issue for you or for someone you care about, you might want to explore it. In the meantime, there is a terrific article over at fat fu, Taking Care of Our Healthcare
This is an article from January, but it’s well-worth reflecting on. Apparently fat women are more likely to be undertreated with chemotherapy for breast cancer. For reasons that aren’t totally clear, doctors are more likely to give fat women (and poor women as well) doses of chemotherapy below what the guidelines say they should.

I want to pause on one sentence in particular:

Obesity is controversial as a risk factor for breast cancer; studies haven’t shown that obesity causes breast cancer, but obese women are at increased risk of dying from the disease.

This raises the ominous (if unsurprising) possibility that whatever “excess risk” fat holds, may at least in part be due not to its effect on our bodies, but to its effect on our doctor’s brain.
* About half (49.5%) of doctors rated fat patients as “noncompliant” About a third rated us as “sloppy” and “lazy.” 44% rated us as “weak-willed.” And 44.5% thought that psychological problems were “very important” or “extremely important” causes of “obesity.”

Translation: Almost half of your doctors will think that your weight is an indicator of your character and mental health.
* 95% of doctors feel it is “necessary to educate obese patients on health risks” and only 48% thought that “most obese patients were well-aware of the health risks of obesity.”

Translation: given the opportunity, your doctor is virtually guaranteed to lecture you on how unhealthy your weight is, and there’s a strong chance he thinks you’ve never heard of this before.
The article lists a number of other statistics from a recent study of doctors' attitudes towards fat patients. It warrants reading.

There is a new fat friendly blogger, an 18 year old high school senior, XXLA. Those of you with young people in your families with weight concerns, send them to her blog. She is a most sensible young woman.

On Feed Me, there is an article on How cliches hurt us which looks at
What do the obesity epidemic, anorexia nation, and healthy eating all have in common?
Each time you say the words "the obesity epidemic," you're validating the notion that the nation is in the grip of a contagious pandemic of overweight.
I'll start: I think the idea of an obesity epidemic is a sadly unimaginative construct that has little or nothing to do with reality. It's a cover for institutionalized prejudice against overweight people, a trigger for eating disorders, and a big waste of our collective time and energy.

Your turn.
* Note that I've chosen a chunky little signpost this time, because these articles all have to do with size.

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