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Obesity: Chasing an Elusive Epidemic

Obesity: Chasing an Elusive Epidemic Obesity may be the most difficult and elusive public health problem this country has ever encountered. Unlike the classical infectious diseases and plagues that killed millions in the past, it is not caused by deadly viruses or bacteria of a kind amenable to vaccines for prevention, nor are there many promising medical treatments so far. While diabetes, heart disease, and kidney failure can be caused by obesity, it is easier to treat those conditions than one of their causes. I call obesity elusive partly because of the disturbingly low success rate in treating it, but also because it requires changing the patterns, woven deeply into our social fabric, of food and beverage commerce, personal eating habits, and sedentary lifestyles. It also raises the most basic ethical and policy questions: how far can government and business go in trying to change behavior that harms health, what are the limits of market freedom for industry, and how do we look upon our bodies and judge those of others?. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hastings Center Report Wiley

Obesity: Chasing an Elusive Epidemic

Hastings Center Report , Volume 43 (1) – Jan 1, 2013

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References (20)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2013 The Hastings Center
ISSN
0093-0334
eISSN
1552-146X
DOI
10.1002/hast.114
pmid
23254867
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Obesity may be the most difficult and elusive public health problem this country has ever encountered. Unlike the classical infectious diseases and plagues that killed millions in the past, it is not caused by deadly viruses or bacteria of a kind amenable to vaccines for prevention, nor are there many promising medical treatments so far. While diabetes, heart disease, and kidney failure can be caused by obesity, it is easier to treat those conditions than one of their causes. I call obesity elusive partly because of the disturbingly low success rate in treating it, but also because it requires changing the patterns, woven deeply into our social fabric, of food and beverage commerce, personal eating habits, and sedentary lifestyles. It also raises the most basic ethical and policy questions: how far can government and business go in trying to change behavior that harms health, what are the limits of market freedom for industry, and how do we look upon our bodies and judge those of others?.

Journal

Hastings Center ReportWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2013

There are no references for this article.