Research & Practice

Designing and Delivering Weight-Inclusive Care Training for Medical Residents at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Weight bias refers to the negative attitudes, stereotypes, and discrimination from being at a higher body weight. Experiencing weight bias is harmful to physical and psychosocial health, especially among vulnerable pediatric populations. Medical providers are common perpetrators of weight bias, frequently recommending weight loss based on the body mass index (BMI), which is supported by the recent 2023 American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines of obesity evaluation and treatment. While medical providers often prescribe weight loss, the relationship between weight and health, or lack thereof, is not well taught in medical training programs. Therefore, this practicum aimed to design and deliver weight-inclusive care training at Seattle Children’s Hospital. A literature review synthesizing best practices for weight inclusive care and needs assessment survey gaps in weight inclusive care was performed to inform the training material. While the needs assessment demonstrated that weight bias is prevalent in a small sample of pediatric residents, there is a demand for additional weight-inclusive care training. After delivering the training, residents felt like they learned something important and appropriate to their level of training and wanted the training to be included again next year. However, they requested more clinically applicable tips for implementing weight inclusive care. Future directions should focus on integrating weight inclusive care curriculum into medical training programs with an emphasis on case studies and role playing to build counseling skills as a short term solution. As a long term solution, healthcare institutions should build organizational policies and practices around weight inclusive care to ensure that all their providers are offering equitable, non-stigmatizing care for patients living in larger bodies.

Materials Available

Project Type(s): MPH Practicum, PH Concentration Poster

Author(s): Khang Ho

Program(s): Master of Public Health, RDN Training

Year: 2024