Weight Bias and Psychosocial Implications for Acute Care of Patients With Obesity

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Abstract

Obesity is a complex medical condition that has psychosocial and physiological implications for those suffering from the disease. Factors contributing to obesity such as depression, childhood experiences, and the physical environment should be recognized and addressed. Weight bias and stigmatization by health care providers and bedside clinicians negatively affect patients with obesity, hindering those patients from receiving appropriate care. To provide optimal care of patients with obesity or adiposity, health care providers must understand the physiological needs and requirements of this population while recognizing and addressing their own biases. The authors describe psychosocial and environmental factors that contribute to obesity, discuss health care providers’ weight biases, and highlight implications for acute care of patients suffering from obesity.

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