Världsledande forskare inom Stigmatisering reagerar starkt tillsammans med HOBS på Krönikör i Dagens Samhälle!
Med anledning av Mats Reimers krönika i Dagens samhälle vill vi förtydliga följande:
Att genomgående i en krönika som dagens samhälle väljer att publicera, ger man utrymme för ett innehåll av kränkande ordval där avsändaren har per automatik en större legitimitet utifrån sin roll som behandlande barnläkare. Denna krönika bidrar bara till ytterligare stigmatisering av en redan utsatt målgrupp, som snarare är behjälplig av stöd till mer resurser och vård än att tryckas ner.
Vi tar starkt avstånd från ordval som “feta”, “tjocka”, “bilringar” osv. Att tillåta nedvärderande ordval som denna krönikan gör och lägga skulden uteslutande på vårdnadshavare hade man aldrig accepterat att publicera med någon annan kronisk barnsjukdom!
Vi på HOBS har vänt oss till Ximena Ramos Salas, PhD, Public Health, Obesity Canada, Director of Research & Policy som är världsledande forskare inom Stigmatisering som liksom HOBS starkt motsätter sig språket och innehållet i den här krönikan.
Läs Ximenas replik på Mats Reimers krönika nedan.
- Obesity is a chronic disease that needs long term treatments. The fact that we have very few effective treatments for this chronic disease is not a patient's fault. I would argue this is more of a reflection of the social bias against obesity. What other disease that affects such large portion of society would get this level of scarce resources in terms of research and development? If this was another disease that is not stigmatized and reduced to a self-inflicted behavioural choice, our society would be taking this much more seriously. Until we change the biased belief that obesity is a self-inflicted behavioural choice, we will not see progress in terms of effective and scalable treatments.
- The fact that treatments are poor means that the treatments are failing patients. Not the other way around. Patients are not failing treatments. We need to reflect on our own biases in this regard. If this was any other chronic disease and the treatments were ineffective, would we blame the patients?
- The lack of understanding of obesity as a chronic disease that is beyond individual behaviours drive weight bias and obesity stigma in our society. The belief that obesity is about eating too much and moving too little leads to public health approaches that are solely focused on these behavioural approaches. What other chronic disease would you only offer behavioural treatments for? What if a person had hypertension? would we tell that person to go an eat less salt and lower their blood pressure on their own? Would we refuse to give them evidence-based treatments? Would we not invest in research to develop effective blood pressure medications that can be scalable to the entire population?
- We need to change the false narrative that obesity is just about food and exercise. Obesity is a complex chronic disease. We have the research to back this up. Now we need health care professionals, policy makers and patients to understand the science of obesity and to implement approaches that are effective at the individual and population level.
- Saying that since we do not have effective treatments that work at the individual level means that we should focus on prevention is not OK. How can we ignore an entire section of our population that already has the disease? Are we just going to let them die and hope that we can figure out a way to prevent this disease? That is absurd. We need to do prevention and treatment, just like we do for any other chronic disease.
- We need to stop blaming parents who have children living with obesity and adults living with obesity.
- We need to understand the science of weight and obesity. We know that behaviour is just one aspect of obesity. There are many neurohormonal, genetic, social, psychological, and environmental factors that drive a person’s obesity.
- As health professionals we have the duty to do no more harm. Using a biased narrative of obesity results in more stigma for people living with obesity. Stigma causes harm to individuals and populations. Let's not make this worse!
Ximena Ramos Salas, PhD, Public Health, Obesity Canada, Director of Research & Policy.