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Medical News and Perspectives
March 10, 2004

Obesity Is Now on Everyone's Plate

JAMA. 2004;291(10):1186-1188. doi:10.1001/jama.291.10.1186

Long viewed as largely a personal problem for patients and their physicians to address, obesity is now garnering the attention of policymakers. From the World Health Organization (WHO) down, public health advocates are engineering ambitious plans to reduce obesity by changing society.

The effort is being driven by the growing proportions of the problem. Nearly one third of US adults are obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Another third are overweight, with BMIs between 25 and 30. That leaves just one third of the population at what most physicians consider a healthy weight.

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