We all visit our doctor once in a while, but have you ever considered how fat your doctor is? Do you trust your doctor?
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine surveyed 600 obese and overweight patients to see who they trusted more: overweight physicians or normal weight physicians.
Questions on the survey included, “How much do you trust the advice from this doctor about how to control your weight; improve your diet or increase your physical activity, a great deal; a good amount; only some or very little?” Each patient was given a scale from 0 to 10, zero meant they did not trust the doctor and 10 meant they completely trusted the doctor.
The results showed that obese and overweight patients felt intimidated by slimmer doctors. Chubby patients felt more comfortable talking about diet and other weight issues with a plump physician.
Sara Bleich, an associate professor with the school, says, “While weight-related stigma has been documented among health professionals for decades, as well as lower physician respect towards patients with a higher BMI, our finding that weight-related stigma increases with physician BMI was quite surprising.”
More research has to be done on why patients felt that a normal weight doctor would have less empathy than an overweight one.