UK & World News
Doctors Urged: Don't Use The Word 'Obese'
Doctors have been told not to use the word "obese" for fear of upsetting patients.
Instead they should encourage people to aim for a "healthier weight", according to new advice from an NHS watchdog.
Health campaigners have dismissed the approach as "absurd".
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) says in draft guidance that "obesity" can be used within the medical profession, but doctors and nurses should be cautious about using it in front of patients.
The document warns: "The term 'obesity' may be unhelpful - while some people like to 'hear it like it is', others may consider it derogatory."
It adds: "It might be better to refer to a 'healthier weight' rather than 'obesity' - and to talk more generally about health and wellbeing."
Ironically, the advice is contained in a document titled 'Obesity: Working with Local Communities'.
But Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum told Sky News a medical consultation about a weight problem was a time for "plain talking".
"Nice is being too nice. They are not exhibiting the tough love they should be.
"'Obesity' is a medical description. There is a defined point at which being overweight becomes a serious medical issue.
"It you skirt around the bushes you confuse people over how serious it is," he said
A spokesperson for Nice said the guidance had been put out for consultation.
"It is an evolving document," she said.