Patients in fat suits expose medical students’ prejudices

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

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”.