At The Doctor

Sometimes parents leave the doctor’s office feeling upset because of disrespectful treatment, insensitive language, or a negative experience related to their child’s weight. Weight bias at the doctor’s office can negatively affect quality of care and future health care use, and can reduce parents’ and children’s motivation to make healthy behavior changes.

Next time you visit the doctor’s office, prepare yourself before the appointment. Use the tools provided below to help you have a productive discussion with your doctor, and to be able to recognize if your child is a target of weight bias. Health care providers might not be aware that they hold biases about patients affected by obesity. Parents can introduce these providers to the topic of weight bias and recommend resources to address this issue in health care. 

Did you know...

  • In a study of women of a higher weight, doctors were reported as the second most frequent source of weight bias in these women's lives.

  • In a study of doctors, 1 in 3 listed obesity as a condition to which they respond negatively; ranked only behind addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness.


Learn the basics

  • Fact & Action Sheet
  • Myths & Facts
  • for kids and teens  

Tools and web resources:

  • addressing weight bias  
  • be informed and assertive 
  • talking with the doctor
  • web resources for parents

Share with your doctor:

  • talking to parents
  • assess the office
  •   positive offices