Most people I know dread going to see their doctor and getting weighed during their health visit.
We have been trapped into putting a moral value on ourselves based on what the weight scale says. We swear we feel the physician and staff’s judgment in their eyes as they write down our weight number.
And, honestly, I’d rather get my blood drawn.
I take comfort in knowing I am not alone in feeling this way, and we have the empowerment to change these healthcare visits.
In a study published in 2021, researchers gathered feedback from women stating their concerns with being weighed during health visits.
Why is body weight the main focus of the health visit when other health symptoms have not been discussed?
This creates an intrusive environment to an already awkward situation. It also interferes with building a trusted relationship.
Some women even request not to ask about weight, and rightfully so.
The women stated a preference that “providers to not treat them as though the number on the scale were a proxy for them as a person—seeing only their weight or Body Mass Index (BMI) instead of asking why they had come into the clinic or what they wanted to talk about.”
Researchers concluded that over-emphasis on weight during health visits and using BMI as a health indicator perpetuates “disproportionately labels non-white women at greater risk based on body size.”
We have a right to:
- Say NO to being weighed
- Be HEARD on all of our health-related concerns
- Not be held to racist healthcare standards of measurement
Here’s to dismantling medical racism and healthcare inequities faced by BIPOC individuals.
How do YOU feel about being weighed during a health visit?
Bayla M M Ostrach, M., & CIP. (2021). “I’ll tell you what’s important to me…”: Lessons for women’s health screening. BMC Women’s Health, 21, 1-7. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12905-021-01220-9