Patients in fat suits expose medical students' prejudices

Role-playing can be helpful in addressing attitudes to obesity, say researchers

Medical students faced with a patient in a fat suit tend to react negatively — but this could be a useful teaching aid, researchers say.


A German proof-of-concept study found that compared with teaching physicians, medical students seeing a patient with obesity were more likely to agree with statements such as: “Fat people could lose weight if they really wanted to”, “Most fat people are lazy” and “There is no excuse for being fat”.

More than 200 German medical students, 22 teachers and 13 patients took part in simulated