There are some
wonderful resources for finding healthcare professionals who won't just see you in terms
of your weight, and/or for educating the folks you already work with:
- Visit Stef Maruch's pages:
- See Lynn McAfee's articles on Medical Activism in
Issue #57 (Winter '99) of Radiance Magazine.
- See Arthur Paul Patterson's page
Patiently on forming a health partnership with your doctor.
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Here is a sample letter written by
someone fed up with the typical treatment she received by doctors:
Dear Doctor (or other Health Professional),
I am a fat person who has come to you for treatment of a specific health
problem. I expect and demand adequate medical attention. Please give me the
same type of examination and treatment that you would give a thin person and do not
automatically assume that my problem is weight-related.
I have not come to you regarding my weight, because I know that there is
no known cure for "obesity" (I have put obesity in quotes because
is a continuum, and as long as my personal weight causes me no direct medical
problems, I refuse to define my body weight as a disease). All existing diets
and weight loss techniques work only 1-2% of the time on any permanent basis.
Since I have wasted much of my life on numerous unsuccessful attempts to lose weight,
I have reached the logical conclusion that I am one of the 98% for whom dieting doesn't
I refuse to endanger my health by taking any
further part in the yo-yo syndrome of losing and regaining weight.
I did not come to you for a lecture. Please spend your time instead
reviewing the medical research on "obesity" and dieting (or voluntary
starvation). Re-examine your assumptions. Studies show that on average fat
people eat the same same amounts and types of food as "normal" (i.e. thin)
people. Most longevity statistics compiled have been done on fat Americans
who have spent a lifetime dieting and living in a stressful, disciminatory
environment. Yes despite studies such as the one done in Roseto, PA., only
one factor (the fat) is blamed for people's ill health.
Please throw out any height-weight charts you own, especially ones
compiled by insurance companies to justify collecting more money from fat
people. The Framingham report has show how inaccurate these charts are. At
any rate, I expect my health to be evaluated on an individual basis by you
by such a piece of paper.
Always use a large size (42 cm.) blood pressure cuff on me and any fat
patient. Dr. George Mann has reported that a standard size cuff can give a
falsely high reading of 8-12mm of mercury. This inaccuracy alone accounts for
the large part of the statistics linking high weight with high blood pressure.
If you are unable to agree to these conditions, I shall take my business
Your Fat Patient,
****"Dear Doctor (or other Health Professional)" is from the May 1981, Issue
#4, of "F.A.T. - Feminist Fat Activists Together." It was submitted/published
anonymously, and may be copied, distributed and used for free distribution and
personal use. This statement should be left on when copying/distributing,
crediting F.A.T. - Feminist Fat Activists Together, Issue #4, May 1981 anytime
when copying & distributing it.****
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