Obesity specialists may be biased against their own patients. The psychologists, physicians and researchers who treat the overweight apparently look down on their heavy patients, according to a study published in Obesity Research.
During an international obesity conference held in Quebec City in 2001, health professionals were asked to take a test measuring their prejudices against the overweight. While less judgmental than most people, the specialists did show a strong anti-fat bias: they associated fat people with laziness and stupidity, and connected them to words like “bad” and “worthless.”
"The fact that even health professionals have the bias reinforces how incredibly pervasive and powerful the stigma of obesity is in our society," says author Marlene Schwartz, a psychologist from Yale University.