Psych Professor: “Sizeism” At The Doctor’s Office Is “Mentally & Physically Harmful”

“Medical fat shaming” at the doctor’s office is “mentally and physically harmful,” according to a Connecticut College psychology professor.

“Disrespectful treatment and medical fat shaming, in an attempt to motivate people to change their behavior, is stressful and can cause patients to delay health care seeking or avoid interacting with providers,” claimed professor Joan Chrisler, speaking at an academic conference on Thursday.

Campus Reform reports that Chrisler claimed that doctors “repeatedly advise weight loss for fat patients while recommending CAT scans, blood work, or physical therapy for other, average weight patients,” and argued that “recommending different treatments for patients with the same condition based on their weight is unethical and a form of malpractice.”

Her most recent academic article, “Sizeism is a Health Hazard” influenced her presentation “Weapons of Mass Distraction—Confronting Sizeism.”

The abstract of her article reads:

Sizeism and stereotypes of fat people can have a negative impact on their physical health and well-being. Disrespectful treatment and medical fat shaming (in an attempt to motivate people to change their behavior) is stressful and can cause patients to delay health care seeking or avoid interacting with providers.

The assumption that weight is responsible for, or related to, almost any presenting complaint has resulted in misdiagnosis. Recommending different treatments for patients with the same condition based on their weight (e.g., weight loss for fat patients; CAT scan, blood work, or physical therapy for other patients) is unethical and a form of malpractice.

Intersectional identities can result in a greater cumulative burden for people who experience sizeism as well as other forms of oppression (e.g., sexism, ageism, racism, classism, transphobia), and the stress that such unfairness causes can damage people’s health. Better training for health care providers and empowerment of patients are recommended.

During the presentation, Chrisler also reportedly claimed doctors often commit microaggressions against fat patients during medical treatment as well as interpersonal interactions.

“Implicit attitudes might be experienced by patients as microaggressions—for example, a provider’s apparent reluctance to touch a fat patient, or a headshake, wince, or ‘tsk’ while noting the patient’s weight in the chart,” she said before claiming “microaggressions are stressful over time and can contribute to the felt experience of stigmatization.”

While referencing a study of over 300 autopsy reports, the psychology professor claimed fat patients were 1.65 times more likely than other patients to have significant undiagnosed medical conditions. She presented this statistic as evidence of “misdiagnosis or inadequate access to health care.”

While responding to Campus Reform’s request for comment, Chrisler reportedly claimed she has a large interest in body-image, especially women’s body image, so much so that she has written a book about it which will be released later in the month.

“Fat shaming is a serious concern; girls have committed suicide after being fat shamed in social media,” she told Campus Reform.

“Fat shaming from health care providers can also have serious physical and mental health consequences.”

She admits there is no way to prove causation for her claims and “it would be unethical to do such an experiment.”

According to Chrisler’s article, “Sizeism is a Health Hazard,” she believes “health habits, body satisfaction, and self-acceptance,” are more important indicators of someone’s personal health.

“The Goldilocks Rule has no place in the healthcare system,” the psychology professor claims. “It is not possible to determine a person’s health status on the basis of their weight.”

Campus Reform



  1. David Watts

    August 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    If a doctor can’t ‘fat shame’ you, who can? It’s their Job! They’re not supposed to turn a blind eye to potential health risks, they are supposed to seek them out.

    • January

      August 7, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      I agree. There also is so much information out there about how dangerous obesity is to a person and how to eat a proper diet. But then again you have the nut jobs claiming fat is beautiful. Remember when skinny was the thing and we had all the anorexia people that were dying; Now we have the fat people who are endangering their lives.

      • David Watts

        August 7, 2017 at 2:22 pm

        Exactly. In both cases, people are gravitating towards extremes, instead of balance. Perhaps that’s human nature (for some), but it’s still harmful if enabled or condoned. Feelings can’t come first.

        • January

          August 7, 2017 at 10:59 pm

          I think the ones who gravitate towards the extremes are really looking for the acceptance of others and feeling part of the crowd because they have a very low self esteem in themselves. Instead they should be consulting their doctors and get some proper counselling. I really feel social media has played a big role in the way things are today. There are some good things about it. You can meet some really good people that you can visit with; I met you and Daisy out here. I found Milo. lol I was reading about the protest that had started at Berkeley over him and had to look him up. I watched one of his videos and said “Yep, this guy is gay”. He made me laugh, in a good way and I also saw somebody that has a good heart.

          • David Watts

            August 7, 2017 at 11:44 pm

            That’s so: any sort of behavior or opinion can find an echo chamber in social media, even if it’s self-destructive.

            That Berkeley ‘protest’ definitely caused more goodwill towards MILO, not less. Sorry, Antifa! lol. I found out about him a little before that. After hearing local news media referring to MILO as an ‘alt-right Nazi’ in ever-increasingly hysterical tones, (when, from what little I’d read by him, he seemed far from it,) I had to check out some of his tour speeches online. Then I watched all of them, lol. This was before he even got out here. I was originally going to go, but the writing was on the wall (literally) that MILO would probably not be allowed to speak his riot-inducing thoughts on cultural appropriation, lolz. Several red pills later… here I am. 😀 If he comes back out here, and that seems likely, I’ll try again.

            As commentator Brittany Pettibone has pointed out, as a person moves further right, they may lose some old friends, but the new friends you meet are some of the smartest, most creative and friendliest people out there, despite the rep of conservatives as ‘heartless.’ (I always laugh at that one.) As I move from forum to forum, I find increasingly like-minded people out there. It’s the new counterculture, and it is understandably popular.????????

  2. Bill Unverferth

    August 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    You can positively recommend solutions or you can call the person names and try to scare them. Which tactic do you think will work best?

    • Joe Shmoe

      August 7, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      According to the liberal left? Looking the other way and pretending it’s not there. Like the tranny with a boner in the women’s locker room, since ‘they’ is a woman too.

    • MLMII

      August 7, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      The problem is that once people start with the “micro agression” nonsense there are no “recommended solutions” that they are willing to listen to and they want praise and victim status instead. Because let’s be honest, EVERY ONE knows why fat people are fat.

      • Bill Unverferth

        August 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        F*ck micro aggressions, I’m just commenting on salesmanship.

        • MLMII

          August 7, 2017 at 3:04 pm

          That’s just it though, as mentioned below you don’t get to be morbidly obese without already being tactfully “sold” on proactive solutions and there comes a point where blunt honestly is not only warranted, but is necessary. I don’t think anyone is disagreeing that tact should be used first.

    • djmc993150

      August 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Well clearly “positively recommending solutions” to someone at 300 lbs is working so well they are in the doctors office weighing 300 lbs.
      Show me the person that gets the negative reinforcement they need instead of friends and family looking the other way or condoning morbid obesity and we can discuss the point.
      If you are at a doctors office, its because something is wrong.

      • Bill Unverferth

        August 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        I’m not saying say nothing. I am saying approach the problem proactively instead of trying to hector someone into submission. It’s not about PC, it’s about salesmanship. What’s the best method of getting someone to see your point of view and accepting your solution? That 300lb person could be there for an ear infection or something else incidental and not weight related. I want the doctor to take the opportunity and sell the patient on a solution. Browbeating the patient would not engender them to your proposal.

        It doesn’t matter if you are selling insurance, sham-wow or a diet plan, salesmanship counts.

        • djmc993150

          August 7, 2017 at 12:52 pm

          No one gets 150lbs overweight because they stopped off at the McDonalds on the way to the doctor. Anyone that is morbidly obese or even significantly obese has been months or years in the making to be there.
          Any “positively recommended solutions” were already ignored, failed to be followed, or meant with hostility.
          Doctors are not there to coddle you. If you are obese and in their office, you failed. You failed in the months and years that led up to that point to follow those “positive suggestions”.. The fat person took the “positive suggestions” off the table by showing up to the Doctor fat. If you are 10 to 20 pounds overweight, I guarantee you, the Doctor is making positive suggestions about exercise and eating habits. If you are 150 lbs overweight, you deserve to be and need to be shamed for it.

          • Bill Unverferth

            August 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

            That is why solutions continue to fail.

          • djmc993150

            August 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm

            Solutions are failing because of doctors like this and people like you who want to coddle fat people and tell them its not their fault.

          • Bill Unverferth

            August 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm

            Never said to say that. That’s simply your imagination inserting that phrase.

          • djmc993150

            August 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm

            No, regardless of what you “say”, that is the EFFECT of your statements.
            You want doctors to coddle them and claim that the reason their direction isn’t followed is how nice they were in giving it. You are giving fat people an excuse for being fat. “I didn’t follow my doctors advice because he was mean to me.” That’s what you are saying.

          • Bill Unverferth

            August 7, 2017 at 1:03 pm

            Again, no. Read the statements I made, don’t read into the statements I make. You’re this thread’s version of #FakeNews. Make up stuff and then justify it.

          • djmc993150

            August 7, 2017 at 1:08 pm

            “positively recommend solutions or you can call the person names and try to scare them. Which tactic do you think will work best?”
            This is a built in excuse. Again, “I didn’t listen to my doctor because he wasn’t nice to me, its his fault I am fat and wouldn’t listen to his advice.”.
            And again, anyone that is obese or morbidly obese has ALREADY received the polite suggestions on diet and exercise on their way to being morbidly obese. They have proven, by being that fat, they weren’t listening or didn’t care when it was “positive suggestions”.

          • Bill Unverferth

            August 7, 2017 at 1:09 pm

            Still no, but thanks for playing anyway. Enjoy the home version of the game.

          • djmc993150

            August 7, 2017 at 1:13 pm

            LMAO, uses direct quote, you deny the quote now… thanks, you too.

          • ITrollLiberals

            August 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm

            Solutions fail because people like you want to hide the truth from fat people.

          • Bill Unverferth

            August 8, 2017 at 11:39 am

            Never mentioned hiding anything.

    • ITrollLiberals

      August 7, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Telling people the facts and not sugar coating it ensured the patient understands how serious the problem is.

      • Bill Unverferth

        August 8, 2017 at 11:40 am

        A frank, honest discussion is not sugarcoating it. That’s different from calling someone a landwhale.

  3. Joe Shmoe

    August 7, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    The liberal left got their followers exactly where it wanted: looking for a trillion reasons to take offense and with a smug sanctimonious attitude. And right wing conservatives are the dumb crowd? Hmmm

  4. Philip

    August 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Never before in the history of humans have so many people desperately needed to get slapped.

    The fat acceptance ppl, the transgenders, the $15 minimum wage…. they are all a symptom of too few slaps being dispensed.

  5. djmc993150

    August 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    “the psychology professor claimed fat patients were 1.65 times more likely than other patients to have significant undiagnosed medical conditions.”
    If my car is on fire, I am not as likely to also notice it has an oil leak….

    • Doc Hussey

      August 8, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      I was thinking nearly the exact same thing. House, fire, and leaky faucet.

  6. positively4thstreet

    August 7, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Everyone is a victim today; it’s nauseating. And the actual worst example is taking opiates away from pain patients because of drug abusers then wanting to supply the drug abusers with safe drugs.

  7. LibertyLoonie

    August 7, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Why is it that I love how the term is made to be more offensive than it really is. “Fat shaming” is used instead of “advising your patient/friend/college how to live their lives in a more healthy manner. Somehow sharing health advice is now a bad thing.

    • Douglas Cowdrick

      August 7, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      “It’s OK. you can kill yourself without me judging you”. “Diabetes (Type 2) is normal in 29 year olds”.

      • LibertyLoonie

        August 7, 2017 at 2:13 pm

        Smoke 4 packs a day? Who am I to point out that in addition to blowing $50/day, you are also killing yourself.

  8. rwg1949yt .

    August 7, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    the professor is how obese? if her medical advice were on point she would be a psychiatrist not a ‘how do you feel’ classroom propagandist.

  9. bobbert

    August 7, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Wheres Dr Cox when we need him?

  10. Adrian Valle

    August 7, 2017 at 2:30 pm


  11. anna

    August 7, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Yes, let’s encourage doctors to lie to patients and avoid possibly saving their lives! It’s Hippocratic oath is quickly turning into the hippo oath….

    I surely hope that doctors find this as absurd as I do (which I’m sure they do), and refuse to take it seriously. Not only that but telling them “your obesity is the cause of your current health issues” is not only factual, but it’s far from “you are a giant fat ass and you look like a swamp donkey” and is is no way “fat shaming”

    If these people want a positive body image so badly, it’s completely attainable. By changing their eating habits and excercising daily. If heart issues doesn’t get then, colitis will, and the weight on their knees causes the meniscus to break down, eventually taking their ability to walk. If these people really want to blame someone for fat shaming them, they should blame themselves for their own shameful behavior that caused the issues in the first place, they hate themselves more than anyone else ever will.

  12. Chad Steen

    August 7, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Dumb fat ass is in denial about her Mcdonalds clogged heart killing her before anybody will ever fuck her

  13. Robert A'Beuy

    August 7, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Remember folks: feelings, not facts.

  14. dennis williams

    August 7, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Joan, you are an idiot,

  15. Tokkenn

    August 7, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    How about being fat and overweight will have a negative effect on your health.

  16. Fantastan

    August 8, 2017 at 12:47 am

    These people are insane. People on the left are mentally ill.

  17. Youngblood

    August 8, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Out of one side of their mouth they will tell you have to eat right and exercise. While spewing this nonsense out of the other.

  18. emersonushc13

    August 8, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Inside every fat person are 3 to 7 skinny ones trying to get out.

  19. mike

    August 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I ‘m getting a strong sense she is secretly trying to kill fat people with bullshit advice

  20. Chesapeake

    August 8, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Back in my 20s size discussions meant something entirely different.

  21. Steve O

    August 9, 2017 at 7:38 am

    “…the psychology professor claimed fat patients were 1.65 times more likely than other patients to have significant undiagnosed medical conditions.”
    — Well, maybe there’s 1.65 times more of the patient to evaluate. I myself am also worried about “meth-shaming.”

  22. Typical

    August 9, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Anyone else think it’s good if it makes them delay seeking treatment? More dead = more resources for the rest of us who aren’t idiots.

  23. Thatotherdeplorable

    October 5, 2017 at 8:56 am

    A lot of people make a lot of money off of keeping people sick and having unhealthy lifestyles. Remember when Michelle Obama tried to start a campaign to get kids to eat right? She was apologizing for doing that in less than twelve hours. It’s more profitable to make obese people feel good about themselves. Otherwise, the fast food industry, the packaged food industry, the junk food industry, the pharmaceutical industry and myriad other businesses lose money.

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