Did you catch the OAC on the news this August? We are proud to see OAC National Board Member Scott Kahan, MD, and OAC Community Member Jeanine Sherman, advocating to remove the stigma around obesity care and treatment. Obesity is not easily solved by diet and exercise alone.

Obesity Stigma, Bariatric Surgery and Sharing Stories

OAC Community Member Jeanine Sherman wanted to avoid bariatric surgery when her primary care provider first told her she was a candidate. She thought that if she could just follow the lifestyle of a bariatric patient, she could lose the weight without having the surgery itself. But after gaining an additional 30 pounds, she decided surgery was best.

Now an active part of the OAC, Jeanine found her voice through the hashtag #iamabariatricpatient. She recalls how stigma around surgery as a “last resort” or the “easy way out” kept her from making a decision that ultimately changed her life. Jeanine now works hard to break the stigma around obesity and available treatment options. She says that we can only do this by sharing stories from patients with real experiences.

One way we can do this is through the OAC’s Weight of the World platform – a safe online place for our stories to be heard and give support to others.

To hear Jeanine’s ABC Action News Story as she told it at the OAC’s Your Weight Matters Convention & EXPO earlier this month, CLICK HERE.

Guiding Physicians on How to Address Weight with Patients

OAC National Board Member Scott Kahan, MD, is also working to break obesity stigma and help patients receive the care they need.

An obesity medicine physician himself, Dr. Kahan told ABC Action News that many healthcare providers have the same perception about obesity that the public does. It is commonly believed that weight-loss is as simple as eating less and moving more.

Dr. Kahan has dedicated his career to helping patients with obesity and guiding other physicians on how to approach weight management in their practices. He suggests asking for permission, following evidence based on counseling guidelines, and following up with patients – just to name a few.

It is important that patients feel respected, understood and supported when they visit their physician. Commitment to this quality of care can reach more patients and help break not only social stigma surrounding obesity, but also guilt and shame. CLICK HERE to see Dr. Kahan’s news segment from the OAC’s Your Weight Matters Convention & EXPO earlier this month.