[SportMed] MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: OBESITY : BLAME : FAT SHAMING : MEDICAL: GENETICS : RESEARCH : WILL POWER: Americans Blame Obesity on Willpower, Despite Evidence Its Genetic

 

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MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: OBESITY : BLAME : FAT SHAMING :

MEDICAL: GENETICS :

RESEARCH :

WILL POWER:

Americans Blame Obesity on Willpower, Despite Evidence Its Genetic

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Americans Blame Obesity on Willpower, Despite Evidence Its Genetic

GINA KOLATA

November 1, 2016

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/health/ americans-obesity-willpower-genetics-study.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/jnygezx

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Americans believe that obesity is tied with cancer as the biggest health threat in the nation today. But though scientific research shows that diet and exercise are insufficient solutions, a large majority say fat people should be able to summon the willpower to lose weight on their own.

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The findings are from a nationally representative survey of 1,509 adults released on Tuesday by NORC at the University of Chicago, an independent research institution. The study, funded by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, found that concerns about obesity have risen. Just a few years ago, in a more limited survey, cancer was seen as the most serious health threat.

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The lead researcher, Jennifer Benz of the survey group at the University of Chicago, said that to her knowledge no other survey has provided so comprehensive a view of Americans beliefs about obesity, including how to treat it, whether people are personally responsible for it and whether it is a disease.

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Researchers say obesity, which affects one-third of Americans, is caused by interactions between the environment and genetics and has little to do with sloth or gluttony. There are hundreds of genes that can predispose to obesity in an environment where food is cheap and portions are abundant.

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Yet three-quarters of survey participants said obesity resulted from a lack of willpower. The best treatment, they said, is to take responsibility for yourself, go on a diet and exercise.

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Obesity specialists said the survey painted an alarming picture. They said the findings went against evidence about the science behind the disease, and showed that outdated notions about obesity persisted, to the detriment of those affected.

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Its frustrating to see doctors and the general public stigmatize patients with obesity and blame these patients, ascribing attributes of laziness or lack of willpower, said Dr. Donna Ryan, an obesity researcher and professor emerita at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., who was not involved with the study. We would never treat patients with alcoholism or any chronic disease this way. Its so revealing of a real lack of education and knowledge.

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The self-help route has not been successful for most. Ninety-four percent of the survey participants who were obese had tried to lose weight with diet or exercise, to no avail. A quarter of those people said they had tried five to nine times, and 15 percent said they had tried more than 20 times.

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Trying 20 times and not succeeding  is that lack of willpower, or a problem that cant be treated with willpower? asked Dr. Louis Aronne, the director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, who was not involved with the study.

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Obesity specialists said there were several reasons for obese people to seek medical help. There are factors, like side effects of certain medicines, that cause people to gain weight. There are also prescription drugs that help some people lose weight and keep it off. And for those with extreme obesity, there is surgery.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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[SportMed] MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: OBESITY : BLAME : FAT SHAMING : MEDICAL: GENETICS : RESEARCH : WILL POWER: Americans Blame Obesity on Willpower, Despite Evidence Its Genetic

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