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An update on research examining the implications of stigma for access to and utilization of bariatric surgery

Phelan, Sean M.

Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity: October 2018 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 321–325
doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000431
OBESITY AND NUTRITION: Edited by Caroline M. Apovian

Purpose of review To summarize recent literature examining the relationship between stigma and utilization of surgical treatments for obesity.

Recent findings The stigma of obesity and stigma associated with surgical treatments for obesity can affect both healthcare providers’ recommendations of these options and patients’ likelihood of considering and choosing these treatments. Presurgical requirements of healthcare and insurance organizations and a lack of postsurgical support reflect the stigmatizing attitudes that bariatric/metabolic surgery is an ‘easy fix’ and ‘last resort’ for patients too undisciplined to lose weight in other ways.

Summary Here we review the literature published in the last year that addresses the implications of stigma for the utilization and outcomes of surgical treatments for obesity.

Division of Healthcare Policy and Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Correspondence to Sean M. Phelan, PhD, MPH, Division of Healthcare Policy and Research, Mayo Clinic, 200 1st St. SW, Rochester, Harwick 2, MN 55905, USA. Tel: +1 507 266 4885; e-mail: Phelan.sean@mayo.edu

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