The other day, Russell launched a discussion about whether or not doctors should shame fat people (well, no, that wasn’t quite the discussion, but whatever). Today at Maclean’s, Jessica Allen argues in favour of more shaming (well, not exactly, but whatever):
Two years ago my doctor told me I was overweight—not in a Karl Lagerfeld to Adele sort of way—but in the privacy of his office, during an annual physical, and in a sensitive manner. The result? After calling him terrible names in my head, I lost 20 lbs over the course of five months. And the next year, I weighed in just about right. It’s been the most effective weight-loss tool I’ve ever encountered because every year I know I have to get back on that medical scale, and I don’t want to disappoint the doctor, or myself.
But recent results from a national survey published in the journal Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada show that few of our doctors (one in three) are advising obese patients to lose weight. But if 59 per cent of Canadians are either overweight or obese, and being fat causes God knows how many health problems, and our doctors aren’t measuring waistlines (fewer than one in five of the survey’s participants, the journal reports) and 40 per cent of overweight or obese Canadians describe themselves as just, “about right,” than that’s a fat problem. If we can’t count on our doctors to call the kettle fat, then who can we count on?
I’m undecided on the appropriateness of the stink eye as medical treatment.