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Discrimination Against Obese People Health And Social Care Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health And Social Care
Wordcount: 2026 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Obesity discrimination has a great impact on health care. The healthcare may be more critical of obese individuals. Some primary care physicians may be less attentive to treating obesity than other ailments as well. Overweight individuals seem to pick up on the negative feelings: studies show obese individuals tend to delay going to the doctor even for routine visits. There is no exception for radiographer the impact of obesity. To improve the image quality a certain amount of radiation is needed to go through the body in obese patient. And that is higher than normal doses of radiation in order to obtain X-ray images. Also obesity has impact on the surgical options for obese patients, the anatomy and imaging of gastric bypass surgery, and how to recognize and treat surgical complications of bariatric surgery. Obese patients need to purchase larger wheelchairs, larger beds and even larger diagnostic imaging machines.

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1b.Reading the background of Obesity, and how people are becoming Obese, will help me to gain a close understand of how obese people feeling about themselves and how discrimination effects obese people. It will help me to see the obese people as an illness not blame them because of their weight. As a Radiography student I should deal with all patients equally. If those issues above has impact on health care provider, it is also has psychological impact on obese patient.

2a. In this annotated bibliography I would like to convey to the reader, that obesity always is not individual fault, there may be other factor such as medical condition and disease which make people obese. By discrimination obese people we may put their self-esteem and social interaction down. I would also like to convey to the reader how I have researched my chosen topic, how I changed my search each time to get the appropriate articles required.

2b.The title for my Annotated Bibliography would be `Stigma and discrimination against obese people`.

3a. The first search I carried out was a Google search. I carried out a different search using Google Scholar online to find journal articles for critiquing. I used Birmingham City University web site. From the main library website, I clicked on electronic resources A to Z. ‘CINAHL plus with Full Text and MEDLINE was my databases to find a peer reviewed articles.

3b. First I was looking to a Google search to have a background reading of my topic. So I put obesity in search box and I had About 39,500,000 results. Then I modified my search by adding obesity and discrimination, I got about 4,570,000 results and from there I had my relevant titles. Again I modified my search again by entering additional search terms `in Radiology`, which I got

About 1,650,000 results and I had two of my supporting sources from there.

Then I searched in Google Scholar I Put obesity and Discrimination from 2000 to 2011and from there I find two articles of my key sources. I carried out a different search using Google Scholar online to find journal articles for critiquing. Then I went to Birmingham city university website and I clicked on electronic resources A to Z.I start with Cinhal plus with full text. I logged in and in search box put obesity as a key word, then I ticked the full text and peer review to find my articles. These are good sources because they are peer reviewed articles. Then I clicked search, I had 4515 results. In first result I found one of my supporting sources. Again I modified my search by adding discrimination on search box. And I got 2483 results. I linked them with and, so I got 38 results. From there I got three key sources which I will critique them and it is relevant to my topic. To find more articles I changed my databases to Medline and I did same steps for my articles. When I liked obesity and discrimination with and, I had 279 results. Again I had two key sources and one supporting sources for my assignment. I chose which articles were most useful by looking at the date they were published and whether the information contained is still relevant to today’s situation. I also tried to find sources from a variety of locations but found some unhelpful. And I ended my search.


Two articles critiquing:

Development and Psychometric Testing of the Nurses’ Attitudes Towards Obesity and Obese Patients (NATOOPS) Scale

Lorraine Watson, Kathleen Oberle, Danielle Deutscher

Research in Nursing and Health, 2008, 31, 586 – 593

Being ‘fat’ in today’s world: a qualitative study of the lived experiences of people with obesity in Australia.

Samantha L. Thomas PhD, Jim Hyde PhD, Asuntha Karunaratne BMedSci (Hons), Dilinie Herbert MBioMedSci (Part 1) and Paul A. Komesaroff MB BS FRACP PhD

2008 The Authors, Journal Compilation, 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd Health Expectations, 11, pp. 321 – 330


The above two articles are of two studies to look into the obesity stigmatisation in two different aspects. In the first article, the attitudes of the health care professionals, and on this occasion nurses, towards obese individuals have been studied using psychometric analysis. The second article is about a study designed to look into how obese individuals feel in themselves about public perception and discrimination based upon their body weight, which is more like looking into the original side of the argument and that is to find out when, how and why such stigmatisation has developed.


There is no doubt that obesity stigma does exist just like other forms of discrimination in the society based upon race, ethnic origin and having an underlying illness such as HIV. The authors of the first article have started well by talking about the basic principles and reviewing a lot of literatures about similar previous studies with regards to health care professionals’ attitudes towards their obese patients.

The method was good with a considerable number of professional nurses participated in it and, in my opinion, the NATOOPS did cover the psychological aspects of nurse-patient relationship. The results were identical to most of the previous studies and the study simply confirmed the previous ideology that negative attitudes towards obese individuals even among health care professionals do exist.

However, when there is a problem there must be a solution, and whilst the authors have nicely highlighted and confirmed this problem amongst nurses, they have failed to provide answers and means to change such attitudes. They have given a lot of details in identifying the problem, but have only briefly towards the end suggested how to tackle the issue and how to educate our nurses not to stigmatise based upon body weight. In my opinion, they should have made more suggestions to rectify problematic attitudes and behaviours.

The second article is covering the other side of the argument; in other words, people’s real life experience to make a case that obesity stigmatisation does exist. It is a good qualitative study with a clever way to attract random obese individuals to participate through newspaper advertisement.

The method, data collection and the data analysis was pretty good. The number of participants was satisfactory, though could have been higher. The quotes from the individuals were prime examples of how this section of society is victimised in different aspects of life including employment, education, health care and general public services such as transport. They describe a clear blame culture by professionals, policy makers and media.

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It is worth mentioning the fact that the ‘opt-in’ nature of this study makes it biased towards the participants. Those chose to take part and to be interviewed for the study were generally the ones with bad experience. Personally, I feel that random selection would have been much better to reflect the true nature of how obese people in the community feel about themselves and how society treats them.


To sum it up, there is no question that society treats obese individuals unfairly and there are quite a few studies to confirm this fact. Health care professionals such as nurses are no exception, but we need to find ways to educate them and to change this mentality in order to improve the quality of health care given to everyone without discrimination. The qualitative study of the obese people’s real life experience is a good one but there is a self-selection bias within the sample as admitted by the authors themselves. More random and bigger studies are needed in this field I believe.

5a.and 5b

Key Sources:

Brownell, K. D .and, Puhl,R.(2003), Stigma and Discrimination in Weight Management and Obesity, The Permanente Journal, Vol 7, No. 3, online Available from: http://xnet.kp.org/permanentejournal/sum03/stigma.pdf,[Accessed 17/03/2011]

It covers the three common areas of weight-based discrimination which are education, health care and employment.

Puhl, R. and Brownell, K. D. (2001), Bias, Discrimination and Obesity, Obesity Research, Vol 9, No. 12, online Available from: http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v9/n12/full/oby2001108a.html?referer=www.clickfind.com.au,[Accessed 26/02/2011]

Puhl, R. M and Chelsea Heuer, A. (2010), Obesity Stigma: Important considerations for public health, American Journal of Public Health, Vol 100, No. 6, June 2010 online Available from:http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/bias/ObesityStigmaPublicHealth_AJPH_6.10.pdf, [Accessed 16/02/2011]

This article gives particular attention to the health issues surrounding obese individuals and they compared their public discrimination to similar socially disregarded group such as HIV patients as in this article.

Thomas, S. L. Hyde, J. Karunaratne, A. Herbert, D. and Komesaroff, P. A. (2008), Being ‘fat’ in today’s world: a qualitative study of the lived experiences of people with obesity in Australia, Journal Compilation, 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd Health Expectations, 11, pp. 321 – 330 online available from:http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=11&hid=105&sid=da2c22ec-6030-42bb-b61d-59f07cc7ed8d%40sessionmgr114,[Accessed 22/03/2011]

Watson, L. Oberle, K. and Deutscher, D.(2008), Development and Psychometric Testing of the Nurses’ Attitudes Towards Obesity and Obese Patients (NATOOPS) Scale, Research in Nursing and Health, 2008, 31, 586 – 593 ,online Available from:http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=11&hid=105&sid=da2c22ec-6030-42bb-b61d-59f07cc7ed8d%40sessionmgr114[Accessed 25/03/2011]

Supporting Sources:

Hunte, H.E, and Williams, D.R.(2009),American Journal of Public Health, The Association Between Perceived Discrimination and Obesity in a Population-Based Multiracial and Multiethnic Adult Sample, Vol 99, No. 7,online Available from: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=11&hid=105&sid=da2c22ec-6030-42bb-b61d-59f07cc7ed8d%40sessionmgr114, [Accessed 26/03/2011]

This is more like a research study, and it mainly focuses on the psychological stress caused by discrimination based upon race, ethnic origin and other factors leading to obesity, rather than the other way round.

Reynolds A, (2011), Obesity and Medical Imaging Challenges, Radiologic Technology, Vol.82 (3): 219-42, online Available at http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=10&hid=105&sid=da2c22ec-6030-42bb-b61d-59f07cc7ed8d%40sessionmgr114,[accessed 30/03/2011]

Yanch, J. C. , Behrman, R.H. , Hendricks, M.J. , McCall J. H. ,(2009), Increased Radiation Dose to Overweight and Obese Patients from Radiographic Examinations, online Available from: http://radiology.rsna.org/content/252/1/128.full,[Accessed 24/02/2011]

This article explains and compares radiation dose to obese patient in compare with normal patient.


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