Weight Bias in Health Education : Critical Perspectives for Pedagogy and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Weight Bias in Health Education
Critical Perspectives for Pedagogy and Practice

ISBN 9780367522308
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

Weight stigma is so pervasive in our culture that it is often unnoticed, along with the harm that it causes. Health care is rife with anti-fat bias and discrimination against fat people, which compromises care and influences the training of new practitioners.

This book explores how this happens and how we can change it. This interdisciplinary volume is grounded in a framework that challenges the dominant discourse that health in fat individuals must be improved through weight loss. The first part explores the negative impacts of bias, discrimination, and other harms by health care providers against fat individuals. The second part addresses how we can ‘fatten’ pedagogy for current and future health care providers, discussing how we can address anti-fat bias in education for health professionals and how alternative frameworks, such as Health at Every Size, can be successfully incorporated into training so that health outcomes for fat people improve.

Examining what works and what fails in teaching health care providers to truly care for the health of fat individuals without further stigmatizing them or harming them, this book is for scholars and practitioners with an interest in fat studies and health education from a range of backgrounds, including medicine, nursing, social work, nutrition, physiotherapy, psychology, sociology, education and gender studies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1- Introduction- Documented Harm: How a Misguided Paradigm Hurts Fat People (and Everybody Else)

Heather A. Brown and Nancy Ellis‐Ordway

Part I: When Healers Cause Harm

Part introduction by Nancy Ellis‐Ordway

Chapter 2- Deadweight: Unpacking Fat Shame in Psychotherapy

Catherine Baker‐Pitts

Chapter 3- Medical Equipment: The Manifestation of Anti‐Fat Bias in Medicine

Fady Shanouda

Chapter 4- "Limited By Body Habitus": Fat and Stigmatizing Rhetoric in Medical Records

Jennifer Renee Blevins

Chapter 5- "God forbid you bring a cupcake": Theorizing Biopedagogies as Professional Socialization in Dietetics Education

Meredith Bessey and Jennifer Brady

Chapter 6- A Textbook Case of Bias

Virginia Dicken‐Gracen

Chapter 7- Why Would I Want to Come Back? Weight Stigma and Noncompliance

Nancy Ellis-Ordway

Part 2: Fattening Pedagogy

Part introduction by Heather A. Brown

Chapter 8- Raising Awareness of Weight-Based Oppression in Health Care: Reflections on Lived Experience Education as Emotional Labor

Sara Martel, Alex Andrews, Laura Griffin, Amanda Hollahan, Sonia Meerai, May Friedman, Christine Heidebrecht, Chelsea D’Silva, Dianne Fierheller, and Ian Zenlea

Chapter 9- The Weight of Imaginative Resistance and Pedagogy for Narrative Transformation

Elizabeth Lanphier and Hannah Cory

Chapter 10- What Counts as Good or Bad Writing About Weight: Reflections of a Writing Coach

Heather A. Brown

Chapter 11- Clinical Revulsion: Combatting Weight Stigma by Confronting Provider Disgust

Amanda Greene and Lisa Brownstone

Chapter 12- Anti‐Fat Bias in Evidence Based Psychotherapies for Eating Disorders: Can They Be

Adapted to Address the Harm?

Rachel Millner and Lauren Muhlheim

Chapter 13- Incorporating Fat Pedagogy into Health Care Training: Evidence‐Informed


Alexandria Schmidt and Paula M. Brochu

Chapter 14- Applying the Attribution‐Value Model of Prejudice to Fat Pedagogy in Health Care Settings

Paula M. Brochu and Roya Amirniroumand

Chapter 15- Conclusion: A Call to Fatten Pedagogy Because Lives Depend on It

Heather A. Brown and Nancy Ellis‐Ordway

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Heather A. Brown is the Assistant Director of the University Writing Center at the A.T. Still University College of Graduate Health Studies. She earned an MTS from Harvard Divinity School and an EdD in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University. Her research is focused on the connections between weight and learning and how to promote academic achievement in fat women in postsecondary education.

Nancy Ellis-Ordway is a psychotherapist in private practice in Jefferson City, Missouri, with 30 years' experience; she specializes in treating eating disorders, body image issues, stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University and has a Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion from the University of Missouri.