Regarding Sheila Manclark’s letter (16 August) on being fat-shamed in a medical setting, it has happened to me too many times, most recently when I was half-naked in the breast clinic of an NHS hospital. I have to return to the clinic this month and I am dreading further remarks about my weight. I have considered cancelling my appointment.
Multiple factors have contributed to my weight, but a lack of self-control is not one of them. Alongside intermittent fasting, I eat just two small meals a day with a low carbohydrate content, which has slowed my weight gain, without stopping it. Severe hypothyroidism; limited mobility as a result of other medical conditions; a genetic predisposition to hyperinsulinemia, which promotes fat deposition; a mitochondrial disorder that prevents my body from effectively using energy reserves; weight gain following menopause – all these are problems that I am trying to address myself, with help from a private doctor when I can afford it.
NHS exhortations to cut calories and move about more are simplistic, and worse than useless for someone like me.
Name and address supplied
We live in a world in which it is increasingly difficult to communicate inconvenient truths. There is no debate that obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. It is more important than ever that individuals take responsibility for their health and make lifestyle changes to avoid the consequences of chronic disease.
Communication between healthcare workers and patients is not always as empathetic or compassionate as it should be, but the underlying message is not to shame but to inform. Obesity may be the smoking of future generations.
Dr Will Oakley