Obesity: the consequences of stigmatization

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Obesity: the consequences of stigmatization
Obesity: the consequences of stigmatization

Serious reservations

For many diseases, doctors often advise overweight patients to lose weight first. But it is questionable whether this really helps. In addition, stress and prejudice also affect the he alth of those affected.

The waiting room at the Mosaic Comprehensive Care Clinic in Chapel Hill, NC, looks like any other except for a framed sign next to the door. "There is no wrong body," it says. Below are pictures of different types of cacti. The second special feature of the clinic: there are no scales in the treatment rooms. Louise Metz, the clinic's founder, only allows one scale, hidden in a secluded corridor. Most patients never know it even exists.

Erin Towne, 37, is at the clinic for her annual checkup. Not only does she know about the scale, she will actually stand on it during the exam. Because Metz wants to check whether the patient's weight has returned to normal after an eating disorder. Only the doctor will see what the scale shows.

Towne is tall and slim with two children and works in the IT department of a university. She is wearing a light summer dress and is sitting somewhat cramped on the chair in the treatment room. The chairs are custom-made for the severely obese-and not long ago, Towne would have been grateful for that: her willowy physique is still new to her. In January 2017, she underwent obesity surgery and lost a total of 73 kilograms…

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