October 1, 2023

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Bias against obesity is the main challenge in the fight against the disease - 27/09/2021

Bias against obesity is the main challenge in the fight against the disease – 27/09/2021

A chronic disease that requires multidisciplinary treatment, obesity remains a severe stigma. This makes people increasingly frustrated and takes their frustration out on food. In other words, laughing or mocking in any form only makes the situation worse for the sufferer of the disease.

Specialist Maria del Rosario Z Alonso warned last Friday that “all kinds of stigmas have numerous consequences for physical and psychological health. This stigma interferes with the effectiveness of treatment against obesity, in addition to increasing comorbidities and mortality.” in Dietetics from the University of Buenos Aires and Director and Scientific Coordinator of Abran (Brazilian Society of Nutrition), during the 25th Brazilian Dietetics Congress in Abran.

The specialist noted that the problem often begins in childhood, that is, children are not taught to respect differences and end up making fun of a classmate who does not fit the “expected” stereotype. It’s notorious bullying.

“This situation is also repeated with adults in different situations,” he says. “All this stigma against weight contributes to an unhealthy diet, and causes mental disorders. In the field of public health, this also has an impact on social inequality,” highlights the scientific coordinator.

According to the doctor, the bias against obesity is widespread even in hospital settings, among health professionals themselves, such as doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and others. “Health professionals must lead the way in eliminating the stigma of being overweight,” Alonso says.

But for that to happen, the road is long. First of all, all professionals should undergo training aimed at health, not just the patient’s weight.

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This eating behavior is not an isolated or independent phenomenon, but the result of the interaction of the physiological state of the organism and environmental conditions. “In other words, we have intrinsic factors on the left through the hypothalamus and extrinsic factors on the right that relate to cultural and social aspects,” she says.

Therefore, welcome and motivation are very important for these patients. They need to understand the risks they are taking and, above all, believe they can change.

But it is worth noting that every case is different. Re-educating food for one person will not be the same for another. In addition, specialists should strive for realistic goals, that is, achievable by the patient, associated with physical exercises.