Regarding Sheila Manclark’s letter (August 16) due to fat shaming in a medical setting has happened to me many times, most recently when I was half-naked in the breast clinic of an NHS hospital. I have to go back to the clinic this month and I fear further remarks about my weight. I thought about canceling my appointment.
Many factors have contributed to my weight, but lack of self-control is not one of them. In addition to intermittent fasting, I only eat two small low-carb meals a day, which has slowed the weight gain without stopping it. Severe hypothyroidism; limited mobility as a result of other medical conditions; a genetic predisposition to hyperinsulinemia, which promotes fat storage; a mitochondrial disorder that prevents my body from effectively using energy stores; postmenopausal weight gain – these are all problems I’m trying to solve myself, with the help of a private doctor when I can afford it.
NHS exhortations to cut calories and move more are simplistic and worse than useless to someone like me.
Name and address provided
We live in a world in which it is increasingly difficult to communicate inconvenient truths. There is no debate that obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. It is more important than ever that individuals take responsibility for their health and make lifestyle changes to avoid the consequences of chronic disease.
Communication between health care workers and patients is not always as empathetic or compassionate as it should be, but the underlying message is not to shame, but to inform. Obesity it could be the smoking of future generations.
Dr Will Oakley