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Obesity not defined by weight, says new guideline

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53656651

bbc.com

Obesity not defined by weight, says new guideline
A new Canadian clinical guideline aims to reduce stigma against overweight patients.

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Health and the weight-related stigma

Health and the weight-related stigma

Obesity should not just be defined by weight, but also by a person's health.

Doctors should go beyond only recommending diet and exercise. They should take a holistic approach to health.

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The weight bias is wrong

The new guideline, funded by Obesity Canada, acknowledges their clinical limitations. Obesity is a complex, chronic condition that needs lifelong management.

There is a dominant cultural narrative regarding obesity that adds to the assumption about personal irresponsibility and lack of willpower. Research shows many doctors discriminate against obese patients, and that can lead to worse health outcomes.

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Best weight vs Ideal weight

Obese person's "best weight" might not be their "ideal weight." A small reduction of about 3-5% can lead to health improvements.

The new guideline notes that keeping the weight off is often difficult because the brain will compensate by making the body feel more hungry. The guideline encourages doctors to provide support like psychological therapy, medication, and bariatric surgery. Physicians should ask permission before discussing a patient's weight and work with them to reach their health goals.

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