March 26, 1955


JAMA. 1955;157(13):1126. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950300054011

Obesity is generally recognized as a serious health hazard. As a result commercial organizations have exploited the public with senseless and even dangerous reducing processes. Obese persons have often encouraged this exploitation, because when such a person decides to reduce he is apt to reject the rational, slow method in favor of the quick, spectacular way.1 The older theories that attributed obesity to an endocrine disturbance have been shown to be erroneous. In most cases overweight is not the result of any organic disease.2 Although the idea that obesity may be voluntarily controlled by reduction in caloric intake is implicit in many popular articles and advertisements and is held by many physicians, as more light is being shed on the problem this theory appears to be an oversimplification at best.

If an obese person is allowed to eat all the food he wants he will not gain but

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