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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Obesity Sensitivity Training

One of the topics that came up at the retreat and should be part of our strategic plan was sensitivity training to avoid bias and discrimination of obese clients. It is certainly no secret that health professionals (like the general public and obese people themselves) often have negative views on obesity which are either implicit or explicit. I can't recall how often I have heard from patients that sometimes complete strangers come up to them and comment on their weight or throw disapproving looks at them, when they eat in public.

If anyone knows how best to go about providing sensitivity training to our team and to other CH employees, I'd love to know. Any links to resources would be most helpful.

In the meantime if you are wondering if you yourself harbor an implicit bias against obese people (or other popular "targets"), you may consider taking a short test at the Project Implicit Site, a virtual laboratory run by three Harvard Scientists at which visitors can examine their own hidden biases. This site allows web visitors to experience the manner in which human minds display the effects of stereotypic and prejudicial associations acquired from their socio-cultural environment. You may be surprised at the results.


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