Pauline Sobelman, a 52-year-old employee benefits consultant in New York City, felt a squeezing sensation in her chest a few years ago. Worried it might signal a serious heart problem, she immediately sought out a doctor. The first issue Sobelman, who’s five feet, one inch tall, encountered was that none of the gowns in the exam room fit her 200-plus-pound, size 3XL frame. When the doctor entered, she says he looked at her body spilling out of the inadequate robe and, with his eyes wide and face contorted, registered his disgust. It’s a look Sobelman wouldn’t forget.
“I had an incredible feeling of shame, that my doctor is appalled by looking at my body,” she recalls.
Although the physician accurately diagnosed her