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The Dangerous Ways in Which We’re Underestimating Obesity

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that more Americans than ever before are dieting these days, and yet weight continues to trend up. The study’s authors explained this discrepancy by assuming that people must be dieting incorrectly or giving a “minimal level of effort.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. As an obesity specialist, I meet with individuals every day who are doing everything right—eating healthy, exercising daily—and still seeing their weight trend up. The cause of the obesity epidemic is far more complex than a calories equation. It is the result of interactions between environmental, behavioral, psychological, medical, genetic and microbiomic factors.

It’s high time for us to start treating obesity as a complex disease that requires multi-faceted treatment. Enough with the diet and lifestyle fads that masquerade as solutions. Instead of pointing fingers at people with obesity and calling them lazy, it’s time we start treating this disease like the medical epidemic it is. To learn more about the causes of obesity that demonstrate that weight is about much more than diet, check out my recent Medium post here.

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