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These ‘Don’t Weigh Me’ Cards Are Game-Changing for Doctors Appointments


Health

These ‘Don’t Weigh Me’ Cards Are Game-Changing for Doctors Appointments


For many people, regardless of size, stepping on the scale at the doctor’s office can be a triggering, harmful experience. “Please don’t weigh me” cards may offer a solution. 

The cards, which are gaining a ton of attention online, were created by More-love.org, an online resource created to help parents raise “kids who are free from body hate, disordered eating, and eating disorders.” They’re a subtle way to send a strong message to medical staff: “Please don’t weigh me unless it’s (really) medically necessary. If you really need my weight, please tell me why so that I can give you my informed consent,” the cards read. 

Being weighed, particularly in front of someone else, is rarely a pleasant experience, thanks to a culture of relentless weight stigma and unrealistic body expectations. But beyond being uncomfortable, it can also be harmful, particularly for those dealing with disordered eating, eating disorders, and body image issues. “Because we live in a fatphobic society, being weighed and talking about weight causes feelings of stress and shame,” More-love.org reads. “Many people feel anxiety about seeing the doctor, and will avoid going to the doctor in order to avoid the scale.”

Asking not to be weighed may do more than help you avoid a triggering moment—it can also help you shift the focus of your appointment away from weight. Anti-fat bias is an increasingly recognized problem in medicine. A tendency to see size over everything else may lead providers to misdiagnose patients in larger bodies and misattribute symptoms to size instead of the true underlying condition. The issue is well documented on social media by the hashtag #DiagnosisFat. 

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A growing recognition of medical fat bias has led to the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement, which promotes the research-backed idea that weight is a flawed measure of health. It’s true that weight and health can be related, as SELF has reported, but not in an absolute sense: gaining weight is not always unhealthy, losing weight not always a health improvement. The HAES…



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