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June 7, 1995


Author Affiliations

Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Mass

JAMA. 1995;273(21):1699-1700. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520450069035

Obesity prevalence in the United States has increased approximately 8% between 1976 to 1980 and 1988 to 1991.1 Adult men and women were on average 3.6 kg heavier in the latter period vs the former. To the major health risks of obesity (diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia) is added another problem: a well-documented discrimination against obese people, with important social and economic consequences. In a 7-year follow-up study of females aged 16 to 24 years, obese females were less likely to have been married and had less schooling, lower incomes, and higher rates of household poverty than females with other chronic medical conditions.2

Because most obese people cannot achieve prolonged weight loss with dietary-restriction regimens alone, the treatment of obesity with anorexigenic medications is now being considered. Serotonergic agonists (eg, fenfluramine hydrochloride) and adrenergic compounds (eg, phentermine hydrochloride, diethylpropion hydrochloride, and mazindol) are being studied for their ability

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