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The VICE Guide to Right Now Podcast

My Search for a Fat-Positive Doctor

We talk to Charlotte Zoller about her quest to find healthcare providers who don't shame for her weight.
Image: Charlotte Zoller

Charlotte Zoller has weighed more than 200 pounds for most of her life, a fact that has made her the target of countless discriminatory comments and looks—including those from her doctor.

"My weight was somehow always at fault for any illness or ailment, according to the myriad doctors I saw in my adolescence, no matter how unrelated they seemed," she wrote in a recent story for Broadly. "Sprained ankle? My fat body was the reason. Have a cold? I clearly don’t take care of my body, so of course my immune system was weak—I needed to lose weight so I wouldn’t get sick."

The anxiety and frustration she felt from these medical visits made her avoid doctors for seven years. And Zoller isn't alone: Many fat people deal with disparaging remarks and bias in the healthcare system, whether or not their weight is an actual factor in their ailment. Not only can that be psychologically disturbing—it can lead to misdiagnoses and other systemic failures, making the quality of their care worse.

Zoller didn't want to settle for being treated that way. She decided to go on the search for a fat-positive doctor and get the care she deserved.

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