Doctors are equally as prejudiced against obese people as the general public, even if they themselves are overweight, a new study has found.
Researchers analysed more than 2000 doctors’ anonymous responses to an online test developed to measure both subconscious and explicit bias against overweight people.
They found that underweight, normal weight and overweight doctors all harboured “strong” anti-fat bias, while obese doctors held “moderate” bias. This sentiment was common among all races and both genders, although slightly higher among males.
Researchers warned that strong negative implicit and explicit attitudes about weight among doctors may contribute to suboptimal clinical interactions and subsequent medical avoidance among overweight patients.