Tag Archives: Reducing stigma

Healthy family walking on beach

Stigmatizing obese people

Stigmatizing obese people

Stigmatizing obese people is a tool that derails weight loss progress and must be discouraged

Stigmatizing obese people: How it affects both men and women

It is regrettable that at this point in time people are still living under certain siege of discrimination because of avoidable health conditions like overweight and obesity. Discriminating or stigmatizing obese people is a common illegality the world over with the US taking lead. I will be discussing some effects of this habit and offer solutions so that you can live your life freely by avoiding being discriminated upon. According to the experts from the AWAREmed health and wellness resource center under the leadership of Doctor Dalal Akoury MD, people who are affected by excess weight or obesity experience discrimination across a wide variety of settings, including healthcare, employment, schools, public transport sector, social amenities joints and interpersonal relationships.

Stigmatizing obese people: Social discrimination

Let us consider the employment settings, job seekers who are affected by excess weight are often less likely to secure job opportunities or even be recommended for promotion compared to their slimmer colleagues and in the very extreme they are also faced with lower remunerations and increased risk of job insecurity based on their weight alone.

In healthcare settings, obese patients often experience prejudice, apathy and lower quality of care from medical professionals, which may result in patients choosing to delay or forgo crucial preventative care to avoid additional humiliation.

Students also face weight-based victimization in the educational sector from their peers, teachers and even parents, which may interfere with social support and educational achievement.

Weight stigma is even present in interpersonal relationships with friends, family and romantic partners, such that negative judgment invades almost all areas of the lives of people affected by obesity.

Stigmatizing obese people: Gender differences in weight gain stigma

Although both men and women are vulnerable to weight discrimination, their experiences may differ with respect to how much discrimination they are exposed to and the forms that it takes. Most notably, women seem to experience higher levels of weight stigmatization than men, even at lower levels of excess weight. Research suggests that women, especially those who are middle-aged or with lower levels of education, experience weight discrimination at significantly higher rates than male peers. Moreover, women report weight discrimination at lower levels of excess weight than men. For example, men tend to report considerable stigmatization at a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or higher, whereas women report experiencing notable increases in weight discrimination at a lower BMI of only 27.

North American ideals of physical attractiveness, which emphasize thinness as central to feminine beauty, may account for some of these differences. Women whose bodies deviate, even slightly, from physical beauty standards may be vulnerable to weight stigmatization. Given that thinness ideals have become deeply ingrained into our society and are heavily promoted by the mass media, diet industry and fashion industry, it’s not surprising to see widespread weight stigmatization toward women, even if they are not “obese.” For women, weight discrimination has been associated with poorer body image, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and a range of unhealthy eating behaviors, including binge eating. We must get out of this madness and schedule an appointment with AWAREmed health center should be the starting point to getting a leaner body weight.

Stigmatizing obese people: How it affects both men and women


drug abuse

Stigmatizing addiction patients

Stigmatizing addiction patients

Stigmatizing addiction patients in anyway is wrong and doesn’t help but kills the morale of those who help the most

Stigmatizing addiction patients: Addiction is a disease of free will

Over the last few decades of my practice as a medical professional, I have met patients globally with different disturbing health conditions coming to my office for treatment which we have gladly offered to a resounding positive feedback. We have made it a routine as experts from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center to give our very best to all our clients irrespective of their limitations. We believe in offering lasting solutions to all health complications that we can professionally handle. This has made us move from strength to strength over the years. However, one problem of drug addiction keeps recurring owing to the nature of its effects to people differently. This one story disturbs me the most because it came to my attention several years after I was first introduced to the couple. That story is going to form part of our discussion even as we focus on stigmatizing addiction patients both internally and externally.

Drug addiction is a medical problem and has nothing to do with one’s morals. It is painful seeing patients giving up on treatment because they keep relapsing every time they are about to have a breakthrough. We are taking seriously the issue of relapse so that we can be in the front lane in defeating the beast of addiction. If you know anyone struggling with any kind of addiction, our doors are always open for you and you can call Doctor Dalal Akoury to help you recover professionally and with dignity.

Stigmatizing addiction patients: Stop the humiliation and disgrace

Back to the story, three decades ago a couple visited my office with an addiction problem. The man who was alcoholic was in the company of his wife to seek help. Before we could even start the session, they excused themselves shortly and I felt that they were consulting on something before the session. I was surprised several minutes and hours later that my client vanished never to return. Several years later one of my students narrated this story to me and I was astonished. The student said, “when I was five or six years old, my maternal grandfather died of what I was told was complications of heart disease.” She believed that because that is what she was told. It was not until several years later, after she had graduated from a medical school in psychiatry, and had secured a job for a very long time using neuroimaging to study the addicted brain, that she learned the real reason for the death of her grandfather. One day her mother gave her the revelation that shocked her life. This was coming when her mother was sick and almost breathing her last, “I need to tell you something I have never spoken to you about.” She disclosed to her that her grandfather had been an alcoholic and that he took his own life in his distress at not being able to control his strong urges to drink.

“Oh, Jesus I almost lost my grip.” Her mother had out of fear of stigma and shame kept the real reason for her grandfather’s death a secret from her that long. What surprised her is that even though she knew that in her whole professional life was devoted to trying to understand what drugs do to the brain and that she had heard her speak of addiction as a disease of the brain, still she was not going to tell her the whole truth.” So she wondered how she had miscommunicated, and how she had not made her realize that it was not a taboo to speak about addiction and that there should be no shame in it. This really troubled her and so she came to confide in me. Stop stigmatizing patients and let’s support them get better.

Stigmatizing addiction patients: Addiction is a disease of free will


Misuse of alcohol

Polysubstance abuse problems

Polysubstance abuse problems

Polysubstance abuse problems is a serious problem in human health

Polysubstance abuse problems: Is there hope for polysubstance abuse victims?

Polysubstance abuse problems like any other forms of addition is affecting everybody without any favor based on race, religion, educational background or social status. Age doesn’t matter too since children and teenagers are also equal victims. With this vast scope of vulnerability, it will only be fair if we all pool together to help in the fight against all kinds of drug abuse. In our quest of addressing the problems of polysubstance abuse, we are going to rely on the expertise of doctor Dalal Akoury MD who is also the founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center. Adult polysubstance abuse is associated with other mental health conditions. Homelessness, personality disorders, and psychiatric disorders such as major depression, psychosis, and bipolar disorder are common.

The overlap of polysubstance dependence and psychiatric problems points to a lot of self-medication. Typically, among multiple substance users, individuals used alcohol or marijuana at an early age and then added other substances (or changed their drugs of choice) without quitting their original substances.

Polysubstance abuse problems: The common abused polysubstance

Further to that, among young people, polysubstance abuse is often the norm, and not the exception. Doctor Akoury reports that the most commonly abused polysubstance by adolescents include heroin, marijuana and alcohol. Nonetheless, the other drugs which are also used include MDMA (ecstasy), dextromethorphan, multiple forms of opiates, cocaine, hallucinogens, and inhalants. In a study where young people were involved, it was established that one-half of the young people had used an illicit street drug by the end of their senior year.

This has now translated into the need of administering treatment to about two million young people for the abuse of alcohol and drug addiction. The point of concern is that even with this big number in dire need of medication, it is regrettable that only 8 percent of the victims actually get it. Besides that the study also established that nearly one-third of young people are addicted to psycho-stimulants and are also suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with 20 percent said they gave their medications to others.

One treatment facility said that 33 percent of the adolescents currently in treatment had polysubstance addiction and the elderly are another population that clearly has a problem with polysubstance abuse. The vulnerability of the elderly indicated that they have more medical conditions that often require prescriptions. Over time with debilitating illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease the tendency to over medicate increases the likelihood of polysubstance abuse. If this is combined with alcohol, the results can be devastating, even fatal.

Finally, elderly women tend to keep their substance abuse and chemical dependency secret. Alcoholism occurs later in women’s lives, perhaps due to problems associated with divorce or separation. Women who are over 55 have less tolerance for alcohol and are therefore more prone to addiction. They are also less likely than men to seek treatment and also use prescribed psychoactive drugs. From the narratives we can conclude that polysubstance abuse is increasingly becoming more prevalent among the street drug user population. Some of the different substances abused include heroin, prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, cocaine, crack, alcohol, and marijuana. In all these, doctor Dalal Akoury and her team of experts from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center will be of great help if only you can call today.

Polysubstance abuse problems: Is there hope for polysubstance abuse victims?




faster weight loss

Controlling blood pressure

Controlling blood pressure

Controlling blood pressure effectively will involve being physically active

Controlling blood pressure: Eating healthy diet

If you want to succeed in controlling blood pressure, you need to be mindful of what you’re eating. Experts at AWAREmed health and wellness resource center under the leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury MD agrees that foods rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can be very helpful in lowering your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. We appreciate that it isn’t easy to change your eating habits all over sudden; the following suggestions can help you cope:

Keep a food diary – having a record of what you eat is very important, it can shed surprising light on your true eating habits. Keenly observe what you eat, to what quantity, when you eat and why.

Consider boosting potassium – Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, like fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. This is one area where doctor Akoury will advise about the potassium level that’s best for you.

Be a smart shopper – Make a shopping list before heading to the supermarket to avoid picking up junk food. Read food labels when you shop and stick to your healthy-eating plan when you’re dining out, too.

Controlling blood pressure: Reducing sodium in your diet

Sodium can be very unhealthy in this line and its reduction is important. Take note that even a small reduction of sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure significantly (by 2 to 8 mm Hg). The recommendations for reducing sodium are:

  • Limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less.
  • A lower sodium level 1,500 mg a day or less — is appropriate for people 51 years of age or older, and individuals of any age who are African-American or who have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

The following guide lines will be helpful in decreasing sodium in your diet:

Track how much salt is in your diet – Keep a food diary to estimate how much sodium is in what you eat and drink each day.

Read food labels – If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.

Eat fewer processed foods – Potato chips, frozen dinners, bacon and processed lunch meats are high in sodium.

Don’t add salt – Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices, rather than salt, to add more flavor to your foods.

Ease into it – If you don’t feel like you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.

Controlling blood pressure: Limit your alcohol consumption

Finally, alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg. Nonetheless, that protective effect will be lost if you drink too much alcohol. Because of the addictiveness of alcohol, one shouldn’t start drinking as a way to lower your blood pressure if you’ve not been drinking. There’s more potential harm than benefit to drinking alcohol. Finally, the key of unlocking the problem of blood pressure rest in losing weight. This is what the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center does best. All you need to start the journey of recovery is to schedule an appointment with doctor Akoury today.

Controlling blood pressure: Eating healthy diet


Obesity an addiction

Stigmatizing obese children lowers morale

Stigmatizing obese children

Stigmatizing obese children lowers morale and is quite immoral to do so

Stigmatizing obese children lowers morale: Parental obligations

In making effort to bringing up our children in the best way we can, we are often meet with different challenges hindering our desire to do our part perfectly as we would wish to. Take for example the problem of stigmatizing obese children. Is there any bad thing that can happen to a child than to be discriminated over? Doctor Dalal Akoury MD, President, and founder of AWAREmed health and wellness resource center is going to help us understand more about childhood obesity stigmatization. Childhood obesity is a health problem, but to stigmatize the obese children over their condition is very immoral and demeaning as it is destroying our children causing them to feel secluded, alone and helpless.

We have a duty as parents to find out if our children are being bullied in whichever way to help them maintain their self-esteem. In today’s society body weight is among the common reasons why young people are harassed and while this is taking place and our children are being bullied, victimization of overweight youth continues to be ignored by the media, research and policy discussions. Recent studies indicated that many students are being teased in a demeaning way or during the physical activity classes, they are called names, made fun of because of their overweight problem. I want to pose and ask if overweight a health condition like any other? Why bully? The consequences of weight-based teasing and bullying are many and can be severe. Overweight youth who are teased and bullied are vulnerable to social, psychological, emotional and physical health impairments including:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety
  • Negative body image
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Avoiding gym class
  • Skipping school
  • Academic impairment
  • Unhealthy weight control
  • Binge-eating behaviors
  • Reduced physical activity
  • Increased body mass index (BMI)

There is an emerging trend of weight related victimization much less known called cyber bullying causing a lot of devastating results among young people. Let’s take a moment to discuss cyber bullying.

Stigmatizing obese children lowers morale: Cyberbullying

This is the deliberate, attempt to inflict injury or discomfort of another person through electronic means. For adolescents, estimates of cyber victims range from 4-72 percent. Cyber-bullying takes a number of different forms including threats, insults, gossip, rumors, impersonation, hacking into other people’s accounts or spreading someone else’s private or personal information without consent. Peers are not the only perpetrators. In fact, youth report being bullied by adults and siblings, and 48 to 79 percent have been bullied by strangers or individuals they have never met in person.

Its anonymity sets cyber-bullying apart from more “traditional” victimization, but cyber-bullying is especially harmful because it penetrates beyond the school boundary and can possibly happen to anyone at any time. The majority (85 percent) of cyber-bullying happens at home, but these experiences may also affect children at school. What may be frustrating is that parents are largely unaware of their children’s roles as cyber-bullies or victims. Youth who are cyberbullied may be especially vulnerable to consequences that differ from more traditional forms of bullying. These include weapon carrying at school, low caregiver-adolescent connectedness, headaches, sleeping difficulties, sexual solicitation, social anxiety and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Though it may be unclear if these problems are instigated or result from the cyber-bullying, the consequences remain the same and that is why you need to seek professional help from doctor Akoury now.

Stigmatizing obese children lowers morale: Parental obligations