Your Voice Deserves to Be Heard: Talking to Healthcare Providers About Your Weight Management Goals and Needs.

I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk, Inc. to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own. 

My whole life, I’ve struggled with my weight. Never once in my life did I consider talking to a doctor about it. My family always told me if I wanted to lose weight, I needed to eat healthy foods and stay active. Yet growing up I saw my mom stay active, watch what she ate, and still struggle to lose weight past a certain point. Little did I know, that by talking to the right doctor that doesn’t hold weight bias can get you on the right regimen that could help you reach a healthier you. 

I was so excited when Med-IQ asked me to be a part of this campaign, which included an intimate conversation with Dr. Sandford, a highly respected Obesity Medicine Physician! Dr. Stanford explained that the challenge many people face with respect to weight loss medication as treatment is that they do not believe obesity is a disease; it is critical to accept that obesity is a disease, and medication as treatment is a natural part of disease mitigation. If someone had diabetes or hypertension, they would take medication for those diseases

Dr. Stanford also addressed the role of weight bias in medicine in terms of perpetuating this notion that patients have failed weight loss efforts and, therefore, surgery is viewed as a “last resort”; she instead explained that surgery is just one tool in a tool bag we have to treat patients with moderate to severe obesity.

She challenges all of us to undo the entrenched explicit and implicit bias against patients with obesity and recognize our own misconceptions and thoughts when considering treatments for this disease. 

My family of weight-conscious Latina women spent so much time going from making you feel guilty for not eating the food they ate yet being highly judgmental if they thought you ate ‘too much’! Looking back and understanding now that it was tying our worth to our weight, and not thinking of it as a medical issue that we could get professional help for was a key to learning and being better. 

The entire presentation was a completely eye-opening experience, and if you miss the Instagram Live session you can watch it on the Med-IQ Facebook page after June 21! 

Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. 

Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about the challenges you have experienced when trying to lose and maintain weight and any strategies that you have used, which will help them develop future educational initiatives. 

Once you've completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 6 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize.  

You can take the survey here!

More info on Dr. Stanford:

Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, MBA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FAMWA, FTOS 

Obesity Medicine Physician  

Massachusetts General Hospital 

Director of Diversity, Nutrition Obesity Research Center  

Harvard Medical School 

Boston, MA 

More Resources: 

PBS NOVA program The Truth About Fat (April 2020)

Dr. Stanford’s lecture Obesity: It’s More Complex than You Think (April 2018) 

Dr. Stanford’s book: Facing Overweight and Obesity- 

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