Insurance comparison site Quoteboffin is among those calling for the introduction of training to minimise prejudice towards obese patients.
Obesity is a huge problem in Scotland and one that’s on the rise. The fact that the condition is costing the NHS money time and resources every year is widely documented in the media and this can lead to prejudice towards people living with the condition.
Past research has found that this prejudice can also be found amongst medical health care professionals. However, a recent study from the Obesity Journal has found that training can easily influence this attitude.
A spokesperson from Quoteboffin (http://quoteboffin.co.uk/), a life insurance comparison site, announced that the company was among those backing the journal’s calls for implementing the training. They added: “Sometimes people don’t even realise they have a prejudice and they think they are working impartially, however when their actions are looked at more closely, a different picture emerges.
“It’s important that all people receive the medical care, compassion and attention they need no matter what their conditions.”
The international team of researchers recently publicized the fact that prejudice amount the public towards obesity has grown by 66 per cent over the past decade. The BBC revealed that other surveys have also found that levels of prejudice can be higher among healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, than among the general public.
However, using a group of 159 students taking a seven-week course on public health, some of whom were training for a career in nursing, the Obesity Journal found training could lower feelings of prejudice.
The subjects were split into three groups. One group were taught that diet and exercise were the only factors in causing obesity while another was also taught about environmental factors and those that are out of the control of the individual. A third control group was taught about alcohol.
Tests then determined that the first group scored 27 per cent higher on implicit or subconscious measures of prejudice while the second group scored 27 per cent lower on a test of implicit prejudice and also showed a drop in scores on the explicit discrimination tests.
In reaction to the reports, Quoteboffin said: “Obesity presents a significant health risk and many people may not realise it also has the effect of driving up the price of their life insurance (http://quoteboffin.co.uk/compare/life-insurance-comparison/) policies.
“However, while it is a major problem for the NHS, obesity is not always within the control of the individual and therefore training to ensure medical professionals are impartial when it comes to treating obese patients is essential.”
Quoteboffin.co.uk is an online insurance comparison website offering life insurance comparison tools that allow users to search the market and procure the best life insurance policies and quotes.
QuoteBoffin.co.uk was launched in February 2010 and is a trading style of David and Co Consultants Limited.