Communication is the first key step towards addressing the stigma. Health professionals can make a real difference in helping to reduce weight stigma guide patients towards achieving weight loss goals. It is important for clinicians to become aware of their own biases and develop empathy towards patients living with obesity and address concerns of obese patients. There are training courses available for health professionals that may aid in achieving this and help to develop critical knowledge of obesity as a disease.
Healthcare providers should be aware that many patients have tried to lose weight repeatedly; therefore it is critical to acknowledge the difficulty of lifestyle changes and help patients recognise that even small weight losses can have significant health gains.
For more information
- Factsheet on Engaging Individuals Living with Obesity
- Five key propositions for GPs
- For training resources including webinars, obesity topics and its clinical management please visit The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO)
- For specialist training programmes please visit World Obesity Federation
- The importance of overcoming stigma