I’m a Dietitian in the Community Setting
Here is My Dream Scenario For How Weight Would Be Discussed in Primary Care

By Diana Marlin, RD, LDN


As a registered dietitian who works closely with clients in the community setting here in Philly, I know that for many of my clients, a trip to the doctor can be a seriously stress inducing event. I often first hear about a client’s upcoming doctor’s appointment months in advance, and the closer the appointment becomes, the more concern I hear from the client about what to expect when they are there. The research on weight stigma in healthcare is absolutely staggering. It is also not uncommon for people, particularly women, who struggle with their weight to avoid going to the doctor all together. I care deeply for my clients, and I know that routinely vising their doctors is extremely important for their health. For these reasons, I’m taking a moment to share my thoughts on how the weight and wellness discussion can evolve to be something healthier, gentler, and more productive.

Concerns My Clients Have Shared With Me About Going to the Doctor Include:

  • Fear of being judged for their weight

  • Fear of being lectured about their weight

  • Fear of not having their concerns taken as seriously as if they were a normal BMI

  • Fear that every health problem they share the their doctor will automatically be blamed on their weight

  • Fear of being told that there is something wrong with their health that they were not yet aware of

  • Fear of stepping on a scale

  • Fear of weighing more than the scale has a capacity to weigh

 

A positive visit starts in the waiting room. Take a look at your waiting room chairs. Are the arms on the chairs too narrow for all of your patients to comfortably sit in? If so, make sure you have some chairs without narrow arms as well!

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Starting the Conversation

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Before bringing up weight with a patient, ask yourself if there are other reasons wh

Consent Driven Care

A

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A Little Background on Me…

As a registered dietitian who works closely with clients in the community setting here in Philly, I know that for many, a trip to the doctor can be a seriously stress inducing event. I often start to hear about a client’s upcoming doctor’s appointment months in advance, and the closer we get to the day of the appointment, the more concern I hear from the client about what to expect when they are there. It is also not uncommon for people who struggle with their weight to avoid going to the doctor all together. For these reasons, I’m taking a moment to share my thoughts on how the weight loss discussion can evolve to be something healthier, gentler, non-threatening, and more productive.