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BHBIA Why Empathy Matters: the Importance of Unpicking the Narrative

via Zoom
Friday 10 March 2023, 12.30-1.30pm

Webinar recording now available
Full BHBIA members only - you will need to log in to access it - once logged in, the link and password will appear on the page below this text.

One of the problems with healthcare research is that so often we don’t pull back to question some of our deeply embedded culturally established narratives.

One example of this is around obesity - recent research into obesity highlighted the widespread belief that it is caused by individuals’ bad choices. Ipsos data showed that 94% of the general public consider individuals responsible for tackling their obesity, ‘if only they tried’. 

The problem is that bombarded with weight stigma on cartoons, in films like Perfect Pitch and even from commentators such as Michael Buerk who said in 2021: “Give them the facts to make informed decisions, by all means, ‘nudge’ all you like, but in the end – leave couch potatoes alone. They’re weak, not ill.” However, in reality, as Sarah Le Brocq, Obesity Advocate and Patient Leader tells us “obesity is a very complex disease; over one hundred factors can be contributing causes of obesity.” 

What we so often forget is that health care professionals consume the same media as everyone else, and don’t sit above issues like weight stigma – and why should they? They are part of wider society. The net result is that patients with obesity (or with various other conditions) can internalise a narrative of blame and shame, and punish themselves for not being able to ‘just get on with it’. 

This session uses two case studies around obesity and women’s health to highlight the importance of comprehensive empathetic research, to ensure we question our jumping off points to uncover what’s really going on. 


This webinar will be run for us by Lucy Neiland and Eleanor Tait of Ipsos. We are very grateful to the team for providing their time and expertise for the benefit of BHBIA members.  

Online booking:

This webinar is free for members to attend. Click on the register for event button below. Please note you must be logged in as a member to book online. 

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