Tue, Apr 26, 2016 - Page 8 News List

Obesity a growing issue in Taiwan

By Chiang Sheng 江盛

In reality, telling a patient the truth is part of a physician’s code of ethics. It is necessary for the medical profession to remove any taboos and talk frankly about obesity. While it is true that physicians must be sensitive and avoid being subjective, patients must also avoid being overly defensive. After all, our own health and the health of our children depends on facing realities.

Taiwan’s formal pregnancy checkups are not suitable for obese or extremely obese women. A better team is needed when it comes to providing information about body weight, exercise and nutrition control and testing for and treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes.

This is because it can be difficult to find the pulse on an obese patient, intubation can be difficult and extra staff are required to move such patients on and off the operating table. Hospital beds, operating tables, equipment and instrument straps could be too narrow or too small. Automated lifts and larger hospital beds and gurneys are required, as well as the creation and training of specialized teams.

Policymakers must not be satisfied with simply greeting patients, they must understand the seriousness of the obesity trend and increase the investment in staff, equipment and facilities.

Chiang Sheng is an attending physician in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mackay Memorial Hospital.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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