Suffering and prejudice: paths taken by obese nutritionists seeking weight loss

de Araújo, Kênya Lima; Lopes Pena, Paulo Gilvane; do Carmo Soares de Freitas, Maria
September 2015
Revista Ciência & Saúde Coletiva;set2015, Vol. 20 Issue 9, p2787
Academic Journal
Obesity is a problem of public health, seen as a "moral panic", which disables the obese person from social acceptance. For obese nutritionists the paradox between the premises of their jobs and their state of morbidity makes the debate complex by the conflict with the professional identity. This study sought to bring to discussion the meanings of health care adopted by obese nutritionists in Salvador and to understand their experiences with their obesity in everyday life. The study was based on a qualitative approach, through semi-structured interviews with eight narratives on being an obese nutritionist, analysed under hermeneutics basis. The research revealed that being obese generates a stigma which is worse to the nutritionist, now seen simultaneously as unable to care for oneself and on being obese. Some of the stories of suffering seen on job routine are: strangeness of the body, social exclusion, strategies for defence on the relation professional- patient, desperate rely on miraculous diet plans which are far away from the scientific discourse, and the obese body seen as imprisonment. It is concluded that institutions of public health must have knowledge of this problem and must establish strategies to the condition of obese nutritionists, considering that this contradiction may happen on different occupations.


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