To make a long story short I am a student and I write quite a bit about the experience of becoming a nurse.
So with that being said I have decided due to some recent developments that I am going to write about the cultural war on fat focused on nursing.
I am acquainted with a woman who is a critical care nurse. I have to tolerate her toxic presence in my life due to her association with my dude's friend. Now, I would like to mention I am no small girl and have gained and lost, and gained again 100lbs. I have finally gotten to the point where I am not beating myself up about it and see efforts now as a matter of love for my body rather than hate. Recently she said this (to me of all people), "I hate fat people so much. They smell, they are hard to move around, and I think they should all die in a hole somewhere."
A member of my clinical group said, "You know these doctors will get upset at the COPD patient who is smoking like three cigarettes a day but say nothing to these fatties who don't follow their diets." I stood up, looked very serious for a moment and said, "HEY! I am one of those fatties that don't follow their diet." Then we went a few rounds with her saying she wasn't talking about me because I am "an attractive fatty."
What does my face have to do with my extra 100lbs? Seriously?
In any case I'd like an open dialog about the war on fat in nursing.
Do you see it in your practice? Are you militant anti-fat? If so why?
I've noticed that a good deal of the arguments that I've heard is fat is unhealthy, yet no one seems to see fat as being a symptom and not the disease.
You guys do realize that research shows that weight loss is 1. Extremely difficult to do and 2. Nearly impossible to maintain (almost everyone gains the weight back). And it's not because people become "lazy" or go back to eating crap, when you lose a lot of weight your body changes so that you gain it back very easily. Basically, a former fat person can gain from eating far fewer calories than a person who has never had a weight problem. I think we need to start coming up with weight loss plans that actually work, instead of blaming individuals who try and fail. The research on weight loss is far from compelling and before we start blaming patients, maybe we should question our approach.
I'm truly amazed at the kind of moral assumptions people make about others just based on their weight. Being overweight doesn't make someone a bad person and I really think we should reserve judgement until we as a field have developed interventions and treatments that actually work, instead of blaming people for failing.
I'm of the belief that we need a paradigm shift and that current recommendations do not work because they don't address the real problem (ie: people focus way too much on calories and not enough on insulin and its control over fat tissue).
Here is a great article:
Why the Campaign to Stop America's Obesity Crisis Keeps Failing - The Daily Beast
Last edit by myelin on May 9, '12