Being Plus Size and Healthy: Not the Usual Take
Straight-size friends and family members always mask their discomfort with plus size people as concern about health, as if those plus size people simply couldn’t be fit or have the standard indicators of good health because, well, they don’t look the way healthy people look. Which is to say, not someone in plus size clothing. We can have good blood pressure readings, be able to run a 10K, and have perfectly normal glucose levels, but still, we “just can’t be healthy.”
The danger – to say nothing of the emotional baggage – in this thinking has been covered in moving and inspirational ways by many bloggers, but there is growing evidence that straight size bias is the real danger. As reported in June in the online journal Stat, the medical community’s obsession with weight often means it is the catch-all reason for every conceivable health issue. The article is framed by the story of a young woman who suffered from respiratory distress and coughing for five years. She remained sick as doctor after doctor diagnosed her with a range of maladies and suggested, always, that she lose weight. All the while, the tumour in her lung grew larger. It was finally diagnosed and removed, along with the entire lung in 2012.
This is one story of thousands and will be familiar to almost any plus size woman who has ever been to almost any doctor. The inability to see past weight is incredibly harmful to patients, as they often avoid getting medical attention altogether. Recent studies about care provider bias can be dispiriting, but a problem that isn’t exposed can’t be solved.
Medical providers should be expected to treat patients as a whole, listen to their concerns, and not have every opinion clouded by the number on a scale. If you’re shopping here at Pink Clove, we think you might be the kind of girl who is happy in her own skin. Insist on your whole worth!