Have you ever been told you were too fat, skinny, tall or short? Or that your teeth are too bucked, your eyebrows are too bushy or your butt is too small? In our society today, people are almost accustomed to judge people based on their physical appearance. Media, classmates, friends and family all seem to have a say on how you should look. And some doctors seem to be dismissing overweight patients in need of medical care and support.
One in three Americans is obese and this rate has been continually increasing over the past two decades, according to New York Times.
Being obese is a disease just like any other. People don’t realize that this is a problem beyond the amount of food someone consumes throughout the day. With this way of thinking, attitudes, equipment and common practitioners are poorly prepared for this kind of issue, according New York Times.
There are difficulties that come with treating obese patients, but I find it more of an excuse for doctors who refuse to help. M.R.I machines are not built to endure past a certain weight, some drug doses have not been calibrated for patients past a specific weight, there are more risk factors while undergoing surgery for obese patients and it becomes more costly for the health care system. And because of these faulty preparations, weight disparity becomes a suggested problem.
So, if these are some of the difficulties doctors are using to explain why treating an obese patient cannot be done, why isn’t anyone trying to fix them?
There have been incredible technological advances, especially in the medical field, that have made things that seemed to be impossible, possible. It seems as if we are always learning about new diseases or infections that are causing an epidemic. Researchers have to work quickly in order to try and find a vaccine or some sort of treatment to aid the infected and protect those who are not.
However, there still continues to be a lack of equipment and tools suitable for helping obese patients. Even with continued advances in medicine, scientists have yet to discover an effective, safe and affordable drug that would cure or prevent obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health.
In college, there are services and discussions about issues regarding substance abuse and sexual assault, but not many about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. About 5.2 million college students are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The challenge with obesity is that it’s surrounded by prejudices and misconceptions.
People don’t choose to be obese. There are different types of influences that can lead one down that path, and it can become very difficult to overcome, lasting for years or even a lifetime.
Obese people should have the same treatment opportunities as any other patient, but more importantly, they should be treated with the same respect as any other patient. Just because one’s body mass is significantly higher than someone else’s, doesn’t mean they should be treated any different. Doctors telling patients to simply lose weight is not doing them much help. It’s not a simple case of dieting that is going to make obese people not obese.
Doctors, along with patients, have to start looking beyond the number on the scale and figure out plans and strategies in order to treat obese patients fairly.
Email Emily Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org