Office Environment Strategies to Reduce Weight Bias

Rebecca M. Puhl, PhD


September 30, 2010

In This Article


Weight bias toward obese individuals occurs in multiple forms. It can be expressed through inappropriate verbal comments and derogatory remarks, physical aggression, or relational victimization (eg, ignoring, avoiding, or excluding someone on the basis of weight). Weight bias can also occur in the physical environment by the creation of obstacles and barriers that can compromise healthcare in medical office settings. As providers, we need to look for ways to optimize healthcare quality for obese patients, not only in our interactions with patients affected by obesity, but in the broader context of the settings and environments in which we practice.

For more information on strategies to reduce weight bias in the medical office setting, visit Module 4 of the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity's Toolkits for Health Care Providers, "Preventing Weight Bias: Helping Without Harming in Clinical Practice."


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