'Don't weigh me' cards available in US surgeries

US body positivity campaign group creates cards for patients asking doctors NOT to weigh them unless it’s ‘really medically necessary’ because it ‘stresses them out’ and perpetuates ‘weight stigma’

  • ‘Don’t Weigh Me Cards’ are for patients who are ‘stressed out’ by being weighed
  • Available for personal use for free or for businesses to purchase for £24 per 100
  • One US surgery has provided cards for patients waiting for their appointments
  • An online body positivity group have created cards for patients who do not want to be weighed by their doctors unless absolutely necessary. 

    The ‘Don’t Weigh Me Cards’, created by More-Love.org, ask doctors not to weigh patients every time they come in for an appointment because it ‘stresses them out’ and it ‘perpetuates weight stigma’. 

    The group was founded in 2016 by Ginny Jones, a US-based life coach who specialises in eating disorder recovery and provides free online resources for parents about weight, food, and mental health. 

    The cards are available for free for individual use, excluding the cost of post and packaging, or for businesses to purchase for $32 per 100 – with doctors surgeries in the US already providing patients with the cards. 

    On the back of the cards is a list of reasons why being weighed is not always necessary, including ‘Most health conditions can be addressed without knowing my weight’, and ‘I pursue healthy behaviors regardless of my weight status’.  

    'Don't Weigh Me Cards', created by More-Love.org, ask doctors not to weigh patients every time they come in for an appointment unless it's absolutely necessary

    ‘Don’t Weigh Me Cards’, created by More-Love.org, ask doctors not to weigh patients every time they come in for an appointment unless it’s absolutely necessary

    The cards ask doctors not to weigh certain patients each time they come in for an appointment because it 'stresses them out' and it 'perpetuates weight stigma'

    The cards ask doctors not to weigh certain patients each time they come in for an appointment because it ‘stresses them out’ and it ‘perpetuates weight stigma’

    Artist Dani Donovan, from Omaha, Nebraska, took to Twitter to reveal that her local doctor’s office had provided patients with the cards as they wait for their appointments. 

    ‘They have cards at my doctor’s office now to tell them if you’d prefer not to be weighed,’ she explained. 

    Other cards for parents, asking doctors not to talk to their children about their weight without their consent are also available for free on the website.  

    The reaction to the cards online has been mixed – with some praising the cards for helping patients with eating disorder avoid triggers, while others accused those who need the cards of being ‘overly sensitive’.   

    Artist Dani Donovan, from Omaha, Nebraska, took to Twitter to reveal that her local doctor's office had provided patients with the cards as they wait for their appointments

    Artist Dani Donovan, from Omaha, Nebraska, took to Twitter to reveal that her local doctor’s office had provided patients with the cards as they wait for their appointments

    Other cards for parents, asking doctors not to talk to their children about their weight without their consent are also available for free on the website

    Other cards for parents, asking doctors not to talk to their children about their weight without their consent are also available for free on the website

    Online campaigner Alex Light, who runs an anti-diet culture blog, hit back at criticism of the cards online in which one user said they were ‘tired of people not taking responsibility for their actions’.

    She argued that weight isn’t necessarily a direct insight into the health of a person, adding that making ‘good choices’ regarding health are often a result of privilege and wealth.  

    The activist argued that while some overweight people may make healthy choices there could be various reasons they aren’t losing weight and accused the user of having a ‘lack of empathy’.    

    ‘Being weighed at the doctors has been a source of concern for me ever since my eating and body image issues developed, which was before I was a teenager’, she wrote. 

    Online campaigner Alex Light, who runs an anti-diet culture blog, hit back at criticism of the cards online in which one user said they were 'tired of people not taking responsibility for their actions'

    Online campaigner Alex Light, who runs an anti-diet culture blog, hit back at criticism of the cards online in which one user said they were ‘tired of people not taking responsibility for their actions’

    The activist argued that while some overweight people may make healthy choices there could be various reasons they aren't losing weight and accused the user of having a 'lack of empathy'

    She argued that weight isn't necessarily a direct insight into the health of a person, adding that making 'good choices' regarding health are often a result of privilege and wealth

    She argued that weight isn’t necessarily a direct insight into the health of a person, adding that making ‘good choices’ regarding health are often a result of privilege and wealth

    ‘The anxiety around being weighed at the doctors is real, and it can stop people from going to their doctors at all.  

    ‘Despite this anxiety, however, I am lucky – I can go to the doctors, get weighed and yes, be told my BMI could be lower, but that’s about it. 

    ‘A lot of the time, fat people go to the doctors, get weighed and the symptoms they are visiting the doctors for are immediately put down to weight. Because the medical system is weight and BMI-focused, and BMI is BS.’ 

    She added: ‘These cards are an incredibly positive introduction – because most health conditions can be addressed without knowing weight, focusing on weight can be very stressful to the patient, weight stigma is a VERY real thing that this helps tackle and people can focus on health regardless of their weight.’ 

    In September, an American study found that people simply need to focus on exercise rather than dieting to live longer. 

    The controversial claim made by Arizona and Virginia researchers said that people can be fat and fit. 

    American researchers who reviewed existing studies said that when it came to trying to get healthy and cutting the risk of dying early, increasing exercise and improving fitness was more effective than shedding flab.

    Professor Glenn Gaesser, from the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University, and associate professor Siddhartha Angadi, from the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia, said: ‘Many obesity-related health conditions are more likely attributable to low physical activity and cardio-respiratory fitness rather than obesity per se.’ 

    However, a French study of 3million people published weeks later found even volunteers who were obese but ‘metabolically healthy’ still had a much higher chance of suffering heart problems.

    Obese people with normal blood pressure and who were not diabetic were still at a 34 per cent increased risk of heart failure and a similar risk of an irregular heart beat.

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