Acknowledge biases to help patients lose weight

Kahan reports serving as a consultant for Currax, Gelesis, Lilly and Vivus; serving on the board of directors for American Board of Obesity Medicine, Obesity Action Coalition and The Obesity Society; and receiving textbook royalties from Johns Hopkins University Press, Lippincott and Williams & Wilkins. Leffert reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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SAN DIEGO — In this video exclusive, Jonathan D. Leffert, MD, talks with Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, about explicit and implicit weight bias, which can cause physicians to treat patients differently because of their weight.

Leffert is managing partner at North Texas Endocrine Center and past president of AACE. He is also an Endocrine Today Editorial Board Member. Kahan is director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness, faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Heavier patients receive less care and poorer quality care, Kahan said, and perhaps counterintuitively, weight bias leads to less motivation to commit to a weight loss regimen and more weight gain.

“Only about 1.5% of eligible patients get treated with an FDA-approved medication for obesity, and that at least indirectly is driven by weight stigma,” Kahan said.