Given the diagnosis of an illness of significant seriousness, such as cancer or a heart disease, usually the reaction of those around the affected person is of solidarity, support and protection, all go out of their way to help the patient cope with their sickness and feeling loved and understood. However, when the diagnosis is obesity, the attitude of the environment is very different, the patient faces a wall of incomprehension, loneliness and guilt that, far from helping him to face his obese condition, becomes a stigma, another burden what to bring.
This note, shared by the Torres-Picón Foundaction, goes deep on the subject.
“One of the main problems is that the patient himself tends to deny his obesity and to minimize the problem, besides that people do not see this as an illness and blame those who suffer from it for living this condition,” said Flavia Robles, manager of International Trials of Novo Nordisk and who after a pregnancy suffered an overweight of more than 30 kilograms for thirteen years. “Many times you can not lose weight. It is thought that the magic formula is to close your mouth and exercise, and people, seeing that we do not lose weight, abandon us. One is alone in this fight,” she said.
He pointed out that this insensitivity to the disease is not limited to the family, social and work environment, but extends even to the medical personnel in charge of caring for these patients.
Similarly, said Dr. Verónica Vázquez, of the Obesity Clinic of the National Institute of Nutrition and Medical Sciences Salvador Zubirán (Mexico): “Contrary to what happens with other diseases such as cancer, for example, where you see the patient as a warrior who fights to defeat the suffering, in obesity, the sufferer is always stigmatized. “
This is due, explained the specialist, the obese patient is always considered guilty of his condition, as if his condition was a consequence of his irresponsibility and lack of will to lose weight; This notion is aggravated by the fact that obesity is a chronic disease, that is, it has no definitive cure, so the patient who is or has been obese is never discharged.
In this sense, Vazquez asserted that “the education of health personnel is an indispensable job. That the obese person feels that he has the doctor’s attention without being judged and that he or she handles a more neutral language so that patients can have a better treatment. “
This discrimination is often a serious obstacle to finding good employment options and even to form a couple; On the other hand, being rejected for his physical appearance is precisely the cause of the obese patient refraining from seeking information or help for his health problem. “It discriminates at all levels and in all aspects of life,” insisted Robles.
It is necessary to understand that obesity is not a matter of choice or lack of will, it is a disease and as such should be treated, the obese patient requires, and deserves, respect, support and receive the appropriate treatment for his health problem, a treatment that should be comprehensive and include the whole family, as Dr. Vázquez explained: “The accompaniment of the family is very important, because the value we give to food is constituted since we are small. It should be emphasized and understood that these things can be changed, although the treatment is for life. “
A very good option that has been applied in recent years for those patients who fail to lose weight with other treatments is bariatric surgery. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all cases can be resolved through this route.
“Not all patients comply with it”. Not all patients meet the criteria, but when they are candidates it is the doctor’s responsibility to explain to the patient all the possible effects of weight loss, that there may be changes in the addictive behavior, in his image and life, “said Vázquez.
In any case, it is necessary to understand that there are no magic formulas or miraculous procedures to lose weight, the treatment of obesity includes changes in lifestyle and eating habits, changes that should not be spasmodic, but permanent, because this “It is a disease that must be treated for life and that is the basis of success to stay healthy,” said the specialist.
The Torres-Picón Foundation (FTP) promotes the early prevention of obesity, which avoids the multiplication of the problem in time and the high economic costs and quality of life that are finally paid. For the founder of the NGO, it is essential to persist in the formation of conscience regarding the disease and its consequences. Pedro J. Torres, who is the spokesman and president of the NGO, insists that the prevention, control and reduction of this disease, extreme in many cases, would in turn lead to a decrease in deaths worldwide.