This is an issue facing many Americans in our day: obesity. In our country over the last couple years, it has been reported that nearly 38% of adults are obese.
Rises in obesity levels have created problems with our country’s healthcare as well. In the New York Times, an article was written about patients who have been refused service because they are overweight. The doctors, without even examining them, will dismiss their conditions as being due to their weight. This is humiliating and unfair.
As a Public Health student, I have studied obesity a little bit and learned that obesity and many chronic diseases go hand in hand. If doctors aren’t willing to treat patients who are obese, they are really causing more problems down the line with a range of other conditions. For them, is this resourceful to turn down care for patients who are obese? What might be a better way to get to the root of the problem, such as the rise in obesity rates in the first place?
In our country, technology has been invented but not widely distributed that accounts for the care of those severely overweight. The patients report that no doctors treat them like they have a serious condition, but rather they just blow them off and tell them to go lose weight.
Where it is true that losing weight will help with their risk factors for diseases and premature death, there needs to be a better system in place here in America that gives obese patients the care (or even just the correct diagnosis) they need, when they need it.
This article has world implications as well, according to World Health Organization, around 13% of the world’s adult population were obese in 2014, a rate that had doubled since 1980. Worldwide, I think that one of the greatest issues is the high availability of high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, nutrient-poor food, which is generally more affordable but leads to much higher rates of obesity among children and adults. The root problem needs to be addressed before obesity even occurs, in order to properly prevent this discriminatory lack of care.
To read the full article about the lack of care for the obese in America, click here