Millions of Americans are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine based on their BMI. Why should we apologize?

When I reach out to Fatima Cody Stanford, a leading obesity specialist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the first things she does is gently correct my use. Obese person, Leading me to be more neutral Person with obesity Instead (and in performance, in the process, those fat people are very capable to play in a culture of photophobia). Stanford explains, “When we call someone obese, it doesn’t take into account that the brain is a real disease process regulated and regulated by the hypothalamus, which causes each of us to control weight differently.” “When people look at obese patients – whether mild, moderate or severe, they assume ‘oh, that’s something they did themselves, and something they got this way because they did.’ We don’t put the same thought process or blame on people with cancer. ”

Stanford agrees that in general, the fat cutter is one of the “bad groups” in terms of perpetuating photophobia, but she is determined to focus on a different standard for her patients. She has taken care of obesity in its larger socio-cultural context, noting that racist minorities are more likely to become obese in addition to the already high risk for the Covid-19 deal. “When obese patients come to me and ask if they should be vaccinated, I give them a statement that is a vague yes because the data show that Covid-19 results are significantly worse for obese patients. “I can give them whatever advice they can to make sure they are the best protected against this terrible disease,” Stanford said.

While medical bias is a risk factor for many obese people, our own internal photophobia and self-judgment can be psychologically damaging. “Initially, I thought [my BMI qualifying me for the vaccine] It was ironic because I couldn’t have gained weight during the epidemic if I hadn’t qualified, ”says Catherine, 24, who will soon take her first dose of the vaccine in Brooklyn. “I’m already scared of people saying or thinking about getting vaccinated, not only because I’m overweight, but because I’m unemployed. It’s really hard not to experience being both fat and unemployed, i.e. I’m useless or lazy. “Katherine is happy to get a vaccine based on BMI, but she also informs the society, which is associated with this in-depth diet-culture, of this discrepancy between them: