A type of fat shaming/body shaming that specifically occurs in a medical setting, where healthcare practitioners aim these weight biases toward their patients in larger bodies. This form of weight stigma is often learned in medical school (or before) and can cause healthcare providers to attribute a vast majority of pain, injuries, symptoms, diagnoses, sickness, and disease/risk of disease to a patient’s weight. Sadly, medical providers forget that their patients living in smaller bodies often suffer from the same exact challenges and complaints as their patients living in larger bodies. However, providers will offer multiple evidence-based treatment options to their patients in smaller bodies and will repeatedly offer only one option to their patients in larger bodies – lose weight. Even though nearly ALL the research shows that prescribing intentional weight loss: 1) is the biggest predictor of weight GAIN, and 2) is not a form of practicing Evidence Based Medicine (EBM). Medical fatphobia causes harm and creates challenges to the provider-patient relationship and is attributed to a lower quality of care. In certain circles, Medical Fatphobia is known as ‘the last acceptable bias.
(also known as Weight Bias in Healthcare)