Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heavy Healthcare

I'm sure this has already been reported on, but it's worth mentioning again. According to a recent study, obese women are less likely to be screened for cancer than their less-heavy counterparts. Although it's certainly an interesting question, the study didn't come to any stunning conclusions as to why people didn't get their exams like they should.

I have a few guesses of my own.

First off, there is a link between poverty and obesity. At least in part, the American obesity epidemic is linked to the fact that it's often cheaper and faster to go to the Golden Arches and buy yourself a McMeal on their two for $2 menu than it is to go to the store buy healthy food. In my own experience, it's more expensive to buy healthy food. If someone is on a tight food budget, I expect that medical care is an unaffordable luxury as well.

Secondly, I expect that a lot of women don't go in simply because of the hassle factor. I hate going to the doctor's office because it's a headache. I have a stressful job and missing work means I have to pay for it later. I haven't had a real vacation in years, mainly because I'm indispensable, and if I'm not there, people get stuck and can't do their jobs. If I'm going to take time off of work, I want to do it for something I enjoy, not for the simple displeasure of having to be weighed and hassled by my doctor. (In all fairness, though, I should note that my last visit to the doctor was not all that bad, and she didn't even bring up the issue of my weight.)

I imagine going to the doctor when you are thin isn't much fun. Let's face it -- getting up on that table to get your private area poked and scraped for an annual exam isn't on anyone's top ten fun things to do list. It's even worse when you know your doctor or the office staff is thinking bad things about you, even if you are lucky enough that they don't say anything.

1 comment:

Lady T said...

lets not forget to mention how small those ridiculous paper napkins they give you to wear are.....the embarrassment of clutching one hopelessly as you sit on that cold table...the embarrassment of asking the nurse for 2 and she looking quizzically as to why....sweating bc of nerves (or bc you were late and rushing anyway) and having the before mentioned paper napkin cling to your rolls as you try to maintain some dignity.

next time i go to the Dr i am taking my own robe. its a lot more comfortable and a lot less hassle.