A reader needs some help

Christine writes:

Hi there,

I’m a regular Fatosphere reader (I’ve commented on all of your blogs and/or corresponded by email before) and a budding FA activist. I’m about to do something new and scary in that realm, and I need all the help I can get.

I intend to meet with the Clinical Director of the family practice clinic at which I am a patient, to discuss the poor medical treatment I recently received. In this meeting, I am going to educate this director on how fat patients are being treated in her clinic, suggest changes to clinic policy as well as file a complaint against my personal physician.

What I need is ammunition for my cause. Specifically, any studies or articles on the following topics:

Falsely elevated blood pressure readings using too-small blood pressure cuffs

Consequences of lecturing/berating fat people by medical professionals (we just don’t go back)

Diet/weight loss failure and regain rates at 5-yr mark (it’s not because you “didn’t try hard enough”)

I have some articles of my own, but I can always use more. If you have links to articles in mainstream news or medical journals, would you forward them to me? Or – if appropriate – could you put out a request for whatever resources your readers might have? I know that there are medical/science people in the Fatosphere, but I don’t have the platform to reach them.

I’m currently waiting for the clinic director to return my call, which I imagine will happen later today or Monday. I further expect to be able to meet with her some time next week. So I’m in a bit of a rush.

Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Leave a comment


  1. Go go web of science!

    Blood pressure cuffs:
    Maxwell MH, Waks AU, Schroth PC, Karam M, Dornfeld LP. Error in blood-pressure measurement due to incorrect cuff size in obese patients. Lancet 1982; 2:33–36.

    Linfors EW, Feussner JR, Blessing CL, Starmer CF, Neelon FA, McKee PA. Spurious hypertension in the obese patient. Effect of sphygmomanometer cuff size on prevalence of hypertension. Arch Intern Med 1984; 144:1482–1485.

    Marks LA, Groch A. Optimizing cuff width for noninvasive measurement of blood pressure. Blood Press Monit 2000; 5:153–157.

    Weight Regain:
    Methods for voluntary weight loss and control. NIH Technology Assessment Conference Panel. Consensus Development Conference. Ann Intern Med 1993; 119: 764–770.

    Tsai AG & Wadden TA. Systematic review: an evaluation of major commercial weight loss programs in the United States. Annals of Internal Medicine 2005; 142: 56–66.

    Hope that helps!

  2. Here’s one for you:

    Error in blood-pressure measurement due to incorrect cuff size in obese patients. Lancet 2(8288):33-36 (1982)

    The link goes to the abstract in PubMed and there are a number of “related articles” listed on the page. Note that the actual article is behind a pay wall – you’ll either have to pay for a copy or go to your local public university library and make a copy for yourself. (I recommend reading the full article because sometimes the abstract doesn’t give the complete picture of the results.)

    PubMed is the main database for biological and medical literature, so you should be able to find articles on all the topics you asked about there. Some journals even let you read or download the articles for free!

  3. Oh, and the search terms I used to find that article in the PubMed database were:

    blood pressure cuff size

    No quotes.

    Do the search yourself and you’ll find lots more references.

    Here’s the main PubMed page URL:


    (http://www.pubmed.gov redirects to the same address)

  4. O.C.

     /  October 30, 2009

    To find citations to good medical articles go to pubmed.gov. This is a free database of pretty much all the medical publications out there. You probably won’t be able to access the entire articles, unless you have access through a hospital library or university library, but usually the abstracts give you enough information. Good luck!

  5. Carolyn

     /  October 30, 2009


    Junk Food Science is chock full of research studies all pertaining to fatness and health care.

  6. corinnajune

     /  October 31, 2009

    This is a url for the article that really introduced me to Health at Every Size many years ago….


    “Behavior change and self-acceptance trump dieting hands-down.”

    After many years or struggling with my family about my weight (I am the only fat one, go figure!), I decided that once I got out on my own I would never diet again. I really had no name for what I felt, but I knew the weight loss industry was pretty much useless. It wasn’t until I read that article and started years of personal research that I finally realized that I was not alone, and that I was not crazy.

    I hope it helps in some way.


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