Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Obese Persons Experience Discrimination in the Workplace

Although there may be disagreement as to how much discrimination affects a person's life, most people would probably agree that discrimination plays some role in all parts of society, including the workplace. The discrimination may be based on an individual’s color, religion, race, national origin, religion, disability, or some other characteristic. And many organizations object to discriminatory activities directed at individuals who possess any of these characteristics. But obesity is typically not one of the characteristics listed on non-discrimination lists. But obese persons are discriminated against in society, including the workplace.

Whether we admit it or not, most of us realize that obese people are discriminated against in the workplace. But we accept it, to some extent, because we feel that obese people have indirectly made a choice to be obese by engaging in lifestyle behavior that contributes to obesity. 

However, many experts now believe that obesity is a chronic illness. And at some point in being overweight, the body fights weight loss and weight-loss maintenance. So, obese people have a very difficult time losing and maintaining weight loss. Still, obese persons face discrimination. And this discrimination can negatively affect a person's workplace experience.

One study done in Canada shows that obese persons receive less support from their fellow workers in the workplace. Another study indicated that obese people are less likely to be hired and less likely to be promoted in the workplace. And a more recent study indicates that obese people make less money than those of normal weight.

The study was done in England at the University of Exeter. The researchers compared normal weight individuals with obese individuals in the workplace to determine if obesity played a major role in the salary difference. After filtering out factors from the results such as education, experience and background, the researchers concluded that normal weight individuals had higher salaries than obese workers. And in another study done in Sweden, “men who are obese at the age of 18 grow to earn 16% less than their peers of more average weight.”

So, obese persons experience discrimination in society and in the workplace. And this discrimination can have a negative impact on an obese person’s life and career. Healthcare providers need to be aware of this discrimination so that they can treat the obese patient with understanding and compassion.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Not Everyone Who Needs Body Contouring Gets the Surgery

The increase in weight loss surgery increases the need for the removal of excess skin. This surgical procedure is called body contouring. However, only a small number of the persons requiring the skin-removal procedure get the surgery. The surgery can improve weight loss maintenance and the quality of life for bariatric surgical patients.

According to the leader of a study reported in Springer's journal, "Only a small percentage of obese patients who have undergone bariatric surgery to help them control their weight follow up this procedure with further plastic surgery to reshape their bodies and remove excess rolls of skin." This is the case because "Such body contouring surgery is generally only affordable [by] patients with adequate insurance and income ..."

Although the surgery is considered cosmetic, the surgery can improve weight loss and the quality of life for someone who has excess skin after having lost a lot of weight.

Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, suggested that individuals who get body contouring surgery after bariatric surgery are better able to keep the weight off compared to surgical weight loss patients who do not get the surgery. The researchers were delighted that body contouring surgery increases the chances that a patient will maintain a healthy weight loss long-term. The researchers also felt that those who had the contouring surgery might experience a better quality of life.

The Henry Ford Hospital investigators assessed 94 patients who had received weight loss surgery at the hospital between 2003 and 2013. Forty-seven of the patients also had body contouring surgery. After two and a half years, the patients who had the contouring surgery experienced a BMI decrease of 18.24 compared to 12.45 for the weight loss patients who did not have the surgery.

There is a "huge disparity ... between the number of subjects who want body contouring surgery and those who" get the surgery. Thus, weight loss service providers should make their patients aware of the benefits of the surgery, by indicating that the surgery can improve weight loss maintenance and quality of life.

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