Monday, 28 Sep 2020

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Obesity not defined by weight, says new Canada guideline

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Health Desk- Aug 05, 2020: Obesity  should be defined by a person's health - not just their weight, says a new Canadian clinical guideline. It also advises doctors to go beyond simply recommending diet and exercise.

Instead, they should focus on the root causes of weight gain and take a holistic approach to health.

The guideline, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Tuesday, specifically admonished weight-related stigma against patients in the health system.

"The dominant cultural narrative regarding obesity fuels assumptions about personal irresponsibility and lack of willpower and casts blame and shame upon people living with obesity," the guideline, which is intended to be used by primary care physicians in diagnosing and treating obesity in their daily practice, states.

Ximena Ramos-Salas, the director of research and policy at Obesity Canada and one of the guideline's authors, said research shows many doctors discriminate against obese patients, and that can lead to worse health outcomes irrespective of their weight.