How to Talk to Patients About Obesity

People First Language

People-first language strives to eliminate weight-bias by not labeling the person by their condition. Instead, the person is acknowledged first, followed by their condition (i.e., “person with obesity” rather than “obese person”).

Bias and discrimination can be shown through the absence of people-first language. Labeling individuals as "obese" can:

  • Create negative feelings toward individuals with obesity
  • Perpetuates weight bias, which can negatively impact on their overall quality of life
  • Reduce the likelihood of patients using future health care services for weight-loss intervention1.