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Obesity and the Health Care Field

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by 229141, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. 229141

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    This is a serious issue I have been thinking about for quite a while now. Obesity is a HUGE problem in this country...no one can really argue that in today's world. I'm just so surprised to see so many people in the health care who are clinically obese and living unhealthy lifestyles. It just seems amazingly ironic when obesity related illnesses are killing millions of people each year. I head to the hospital cafeteria and see nothing but junk food offered...given there were very limited healthy options some days. One could make the excuse that these people work long hours, are stressed out, and that meals on the go are more convenient..but that really should never be an excuse imo.

    With that being said...friends and I have been wondering if an obese applicant (and I mean obese, not someone a little chunky) would have a lesser chance of getting into medical school. It may sound stupid, but wouldn't we want physicians practicing what they preach? If your doctor is telling you that you need to lose 30 pounds, and he is standing before you obviously obese, how likely is the patient to listen?

    Thoughts?


    CLIFF NOTES: -Many Obese health care workers
    -Would being very obese hurt an applicants chances of getting accepted
     
    #1 229141, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  2. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    I doubt you would ever hear an adcom list obesity as a negative aspect of a person's application, but no doubt it will affect the way people will view him/her. I think it has more to do with the fact that physically attractive people are more successful, and in this country, obese people are not considered to be physically attractive.
     
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  3. 229141

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    That is an interesting point I hadn't thought of.

    I was looking at this issue primarily from the point of view that they could be viewed as "bad role models" etc. No Adcom would dare say "Oh that applicant is fat lets reject him", but honestly it could play a role in my opinion.


    Expanding the discussion a little...I think a big part of aiding the obesity epidemic would be to better educate people about nutrition, especially at an early age. It breaks my heart to see children who are already extremely obese due to their parents feeding them a bad diet or the fact their parents aren't around at all. Not to mention that adipocytes can divide before puberty..leaving the child with more fat cells for the rest of his/her life :(
     
  4. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    increasing knowledge base is HUGE, and definitely a major problem. People just dont know what they should be doing to remain healthy, and who knows where they are getting their info from when they do try and look for it. I saw a book in barnes and nobles trying to say that instead of eating a big mac with 45 g of fat, you should eat a whopper which only has 41 g of fat..... I made up those numbers, but you get the point. People read that **** and now they think eating a whopper every day is healthy.

    And yes, i think the "bad role model" idea could play a role, but I see the physical attractiveness of applicant being more of an issue.
     
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  5. droshan

    droshan Waitlist King!
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    I totally agree with you on the obesity "epidemic." But I think the adcom's perception of obesity would solely come from the interviewer since the rest of the committee doesn't see the applicant in person. It is possible that the interviewer could mention something about it. However, I find it unlikely that they would. Also it would depend on the person...I'm sure there are a fair amount of obese interviewers and adcom members who may not find a problem with a chubbier applicant at all. I guess it would go into one of those random factors that play for or against you.

    Btw, good work on the bodybuilding alaska, its good to see other gym rats going into medicine. I train more for strength rather than hypertrophy but that's just for BJJ weight class purposes. Just had acl surgery a few days ago so no lower body lifting for months!! You ever do any bb competitions?
     
  6. 229141

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    Oh man I am sorry to hear about your surgery! Hang in there...I've had a few injuries myself. I've done 3 bb shows so far and I almost won my natural pro card at a show last October..coulda had it if I was just a tad leaner. I'm going for it in 2010 again though so I'll be back!
     
  7. 229141

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    Yep great post and exactly how I feel too. I know some damn smart kids at school who are still very uneducated about nutrition..its amazing to me. Its like people saying wine is so good for them when in reality they could take grape seed extract which has the same polyphenols and resveratrol that wine does..or people making excuses to eat chocolate since it has antioxidants and crap so they eat 5 chocolate bars!
     
  8. droshan

    droshan Waitlist King!
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    Thanks man. Best of luck to you in 2010. how many years have you been hitting the iron?
     
  9. qmcat

    qmcat Heat
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    wasn't there some "big is beautiful" campaign in hollywood a few years ago or something. i wonder what happened to that.

    anyway, yea i think some schools might be picky about training doctors who are role models for their patients. i remember at a school that i interviewed at, the dean of admissions said explicitly that the school believes in the role model thing and that the school does its best to promote student wellness and exercise (they have an awesome gym and swimming pool).

    actually, one of the questions they asked during the interview was "what do you do to keep active outside of studying/volunteering/research?"
     
  10. 229141

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    Thats good to know that some schools care about that. I remember the big is beautiful campaign. It's a fine line...you don't want to insult obese people because some people truly struggle with metabolic disorders. On the other hand, we do not want to discourage obese people from trying to lose weight as we tell them its fine to be clinically obese...
     
  11. 229141

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    Dude...thats how I remembered that formula

    Q = Mcat HAHA
     
  12. scarletgirl777

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    It might seem like a good idea on the surface to judge people based on that, but think about all the other unhealthy behaviors that applicants do. Binge drinking (more than 5 servings of alcohol in one night) is horribly unhealthy. So is smoking. Clinicians are only human and they're going to make mistakes, and it's just not worth it to try to determine how every single candidate measures up to the standard of perfection.
     
  13. snicket

    snicket ghettochip malfunction
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    It seems that people are more quick to view obesity as an aesthetics-related problem than a health-related problem (or saying "ew dude gtfo fattie" before saying in addendum, "oh shiet you gon' die"). I personally think all of my bigger friends (from chubby all the way to obese) have beautiful bodies, to be honest. But! Continuing along that path of unhealthy eating is obviously detrimental, etc, etc.

    True, the hypocrisy of an obese-by-choice doctor telling an obese-by-choice patient to lose weight is rather striking. Absolutely no arguments there. However, this differs by specialty. Pathology? "HAY DEAD GUY LOSE WEIGHT! oh brb milkshake time *chomchomchom*" What stunning hypocrisy in this instance! :thumbup: (And this is clearly a generalization for some partial lulz, if you hadn't noticed already. And as generalization wank goes, there are always exceptions, blahblahblah, insert more things everyone should know here)

    Because of that, weight should not affect an applicant's chance of matriculation. That is... such a ridiculous idea. It's presumptious to think a future physician will end up in a specialty where he will have to be the antithesis of what he's preaching so much that he will be viewed as a hypocritical. If an applicant has all the mental, emotional, and physical capabilities of becoming a physician, then so be it.

    Now, things changes up quite a bit more when it comes time for Le Match. That's a whole 'nother story -- but as far as medical school acceptance, none of that discrimination plzkthx.
     
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  14. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    [​IMG]

    "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son."

    -Dean Wormer
     
  15. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    I disagree.

    People know they should eat healthy and how to. The problem lies elsewhere.
     
  16. Valvool

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    There are very few overweight students in my class but I don't think weight plays any role in the admissions process. Most applicants are young and physically active and educated; the medical school applicant pool contains a lower percentage of obese individuals than the general populations. I had this discussion with a student who sat on the adcom at my school and this person said that an applicant's weight would never come up during discussion of the applicant.
     
  17. 236116

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    Interesting.

    Add to the "lots of junk" that good stuff is a) slower and b) more expensive...

    I don't agree with Kaus that the knowledge base is there-- but it is growing. Corner groceries are starting to add better choices, but it's slow going.

    It's been mentioned in the past that there is an unconscious bias against those who aren't considered physically attractive in various application/interview procedures.
     
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  18. 229141

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    Agreed that it would never come up...they would be facing a potential discrimination lawsuit imo if that was the case. Just because they do not bring it up doesn't necessarily mean it plays 0 role imo
     
  19. 229141

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    People THINK they know how to eat healthy. People THINK they are eating healthy by eating a bagel with a high glycemic index and load is eating healthy. People THINK avoiding all fat is healthy etc. Look at all those stupid people following atkins consuming 100g sat fat a day and 5000mg + cholesterol.

    Where does the problem lie in your opinion? How should we go about this problem?
     
  20. Lukkie

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    there is a lot you can tell about someone just by looking at their body. if they are obese it shows a lack of self-respect, discipline and control.
     
  21. 236116

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    what if they have a metabolic derangement?

    that said, if you can afford to control your biological issues, and your ocd eating habits, and you don't, you suck.

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. 229141

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    I would agree to some extent...although there are diseases and other factors sometimes. But I believe that obesity is more common with those who are depressed and such. And I also agree that if you want to take care of others you should really take care of yourself. That statement might offend some but I get what you mean
     
  23. chiz2kul

    chiz2kul t.roll.ed for Banning
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    Ah chill on the hasty generalization...there are exceptions to every situation.
     
  24. Lukkie

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    yes, serious genetic issues that lead to obesity are exempt.

    but obesity has risen to epidemic or pandemic or whatever levels they call it in the past 100 years. humans didn't change genetically in the past 100 years so its clearly enivornmental factors.

    what can we do? a big part is socioeconomic factors. it is no surprise that lower income people are more obese, likely because cheaper food (TV dinners, fast food) is less healthy. lower income people are also less educated, especially in terms of diet and exercise. i think improving the economic situation for many americans would go a long way towards improving our health. how do we do this exactly? thats the million dollar (well these days, the trillion dollar) question
     
  25. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist
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    In fields that are hectic, where you're on your feet all the time, like retail pharmacy and ED medicine, you don't see obese people (granted, I'm not in the US). You're too busy and you work it off, even if you eat junk.

    As long as I was filling 300-400 scripts a day, running back and forth to answer the phone, leave the pharmacy to do OTC counselling and show people where stuff was, etc, I stayed thin. When I quit my retail pharmacy job, I started to put on weight, and had to start working out.

    No discrimination intended, but it's impossible to work 10-12 hours on your feet if you're obese. Maybe you can get away with it when you're young, but once you're over 30, you'll have crippling back pain, and the hips and knees are deteriorating.
     
  26. 229141

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    I still say education..you cant FORCE someone to be healthy. You can actually eat extremely healthy for a few dollars a day.
     
  27. 236116

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    on wic/welfare/food stamps*? when there's one grocery store in walking distance and it's got more twinkies than bananas?

    *plz don't start arguing that everyone on assistance is a low-class drug-addled crack-***** with 7 kids and 5 baby-daddies, b/c i'll be forced to sic dilophosarus on you.
     
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  28. Lukkie

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    i dont think anything should be forced. but i do think the government can play a stronger role towards pushing people in the right direction, such as incentives to inner city grocery stores to sell fresh fruits/vegetables (many stores in poor areas actually don't sell these since they usually end up in net loss to most businesses) and lean meats for lower cost.
     
  29. 87138

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    I think they all died of MIs.
     
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  30. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    In my area, it's much cheaper to buy good, fresh foods than it is to buy processed foods. Maybe it's not the same in every region, but it's definitely true in mine.

    For example, when I had to load up on processed and dried foods before Hurricane Ike hit, I spent a considerable amount more ($100 when I usually spend about $70/week) than I usually do and got less. The food didn't even last out the week.
     
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  31. 87138

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    I agree. As a bodybuilder (and as a former varsity athlete) it pains me to see what people actually think is "eating healthy." More often than not they couldn't be farther from the mark.

    A simplistic example is "low fat" foods like "low fat peanut butter." They REMOVE some of the HEALTHY fat but in order to bump the caloric count back up to normal peanut butter, they add sugar. So now not only are you still getting the same number of calories (don't get me started on people not understanding that caloric excess leads to weight gain), but now you're worse off than regular peanut butter due to all the added sugar.
     
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  32. 229141

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    I do agree- fast food is cheaper than horse crap (literally I think). Look at what a lean steak costs compared to a fatty one. Look at how much that trendy hippy Odwalla drinks cost compared to a soda...5x the price.

    Here are some healthy items for the poor to stay healthy I've come up with:
    -Dried black beans (good amino acids and complex cars)
    -Brown rice
    -Some fish is relatively cheap
    -Powdered Milk


    Proteins are expensive as hell though..steak,chicken, etc. Actually now that I think of it its very hard to eat a great diet on little money : \
     
  33. bashir

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    Even if this were true, it wouldn't mean much. You could say the same thing about people with other vices, such as binge drinking and smoking. Furthermore, the fact that someone is a healthy weight says nothing about their self-respect, discipline and control; what can you tell by looking at their body? I am a normal-sized healthy-looking person but I eat like crap and don't exercise enough, so If somebody tried to judge my character by looking at me, they wouldn't be very successful.

    Almost everybody does things which arguably show a lack of self-respect and discipline.
     
  34. Lukkie

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    oh please, i've been studying this for the last 4 years :laugh: for a while i was actually considering going into epidemiology to study stuff like this.
     
  35. 229141

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    Actually one I can think of now is Round Steak...leanest cut (not tastiest..) you can get and its the cheapest too.

    But at the same time at my school a soda is 99 cents, while an Odwalla protein drink is 5 dollars
     
  36. Lukkie

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    i never said you could tell someone has "self-respect, discipline and control" if they have a decent body. i said they lacked these if they were obese.
     
  37. 229141

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    Yeah me too! I've been thinking like endocrinology maybe focusing on childhood obesity
     
  38. 229141

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    Exactly bro- they're making it a worse food by removing important EFAs. Peoples diets are probably like 60% carbs 30% fat and 10% protein these days. A lot of people THINK they are eating healthy..although they may be doing the opposite.
     
  39. dw2158

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    Amen. However... I do think that education and awareness of better options than fast food can make a huge difference, even for people with an incredibly low budget. We could have a whole other discussion of root causes of poverty and its effect on people's diets. This is pretty much what my job is about (although not diet-specific, just health care) so I'm going to shut up before I get preachy :oops:
     
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  40. dw2158

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    ooh oooh me too!
     
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  41. Lukkie

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    my exercise physiology professor was working on a research project with inner city obese kids and weight training. obese people usually have a hard time doing traditional weight loss activites such as running, sports since it is ridiculously painful/stressful on their joints. doing weight training might be a good alternate activity.

    dunno what came out of it, but i remember him mentioning some of these 12-14 year olds were legpressing over 1000 lbs :laugh:
     
  42. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    People konw they should eat healthily, yes. But there are so many misconceptions about what is actually healthy to eat and what amount is healthy to eat. Its certainly not the only issue, but its a big one.
     
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  43. dw2158

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    that sounds cool. and those are some seriously ripped teenagers.:eek:
     
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  44. brianjg

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    As an obese applicant (300 lbs, 6 foot 2), I haven't really seen anything in the way of obesity discrimination, but I have only been to two interviews. To add, I haven't really seen anyone, besides me, overweight at interviews. I am trying to lose weight, and so far I have lost about 40 lbs. I don't have any adverse health affects due to my weight, yet. That's why I'm working to lose it. I have been thinking about having surgery (Lap-band), but I just don't think I need it. I also am pretty active, I like to ski, hike, etc. so I think that helps me at least stay somewhat healthy. But, I do know about nutrition and what are healthy foods to eat, but in America we have so much social eating that it is really hard to stick to what you know is right. Just thought I would offer a little different point of view...
     
  45. closer23

    closer23 Liberal
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    .
     
    #45 closer23, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  46. Lukkie

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    kudos to you brian and i wish you success in achieving your goals
     
  47. 87138

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    Before the price of eggs skyrocketed, eggs/eggwhite omelets were about as cheap as you could go. Now I unfortunately find myself ingesting more whey protein than I probably should, simply because some of my usual protein sources have gotten more expensive (although so has whey, quite a bit since the whole China thing).
     
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  48. 87138

    87138 Guest

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    Yes.




    No no no no no no no no no no no.
     
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  49. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    anybody see thath special that runs on I think TLC every so often....documentary on the heaviest man in the world? Its pretty unbelievable that someone can get that large. The man hadndt left his bed/walked in like 5 years.
     
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  50. hedgehog1

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    I think the only discrimination that would occur would be unconscious on the part of the interviewer, which is the same discrimination obese people face everyday as they walk down the street.
     

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