Meditalk Spins Away the Blubber

Doctors today are not only trained in the worthy tradition of “do no harm,” but also in the questionable contemporary school of “offend no one.”

Thus, we have the new proposed Centers for Disease Control spinspeak guideline of not calling overweight children “obese.” Presumably,” fat kid,” “porky” and “chubby” are also off the approved list. Instead, children waddling around in a state approaching but not yet reaching total rotundity are to be called “at risk of overweight.” Once total rotundity is achieved the full mound of blubber is to be described simply as “overweight.”

Dr. Reginald Washington of Denver, a pediatrician and “co-chair”* of an American Academy of Pediatrics task force on obesity agrees. He notes that calling children “obese” risks “making them angry, making the family angry.”

There is also the possibility of loss of self esteem – the dreaded state of mind that many sensitive educators already avoid by eliminating the uncomfortable idea of competition with “winners” and “losers.”

Some other recent medical spinspeak:

non-compliant = meditalk softspeak for describing a patient who refuses to follow prescribed medical direction.

non-adherence = earlier meditalk for what is now called non-compliant.

drug seeking behavior = meditalk for coke sniffing and other drug addictive folkways.

* co-chair and chair is spinspeak adopted on the politically correct assumption that it is better to call people pieces of furniture than make gender distinctions.

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