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Editor's Correspondence
October 11, 2004

The Obesity Epidemic

Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(18):No Pagination Specified. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.18.2066-b

Alarms about the "obesity epidemic" abound. However, in the article by Manson et al,1 the effectiveness of the proposals they advance for combating the "epidemic" is completely unproven, and they will sound unconvincing to clinicians exposed to the daily contact with patients, many of whom claim a desperate desire to reduce their weight but rarely make real progress and frequently relapse. "Crash diets," even when they result in massive weight loss, have notoriously resulted in relapses and minimal net weight loss over protracted periods. Practicing physicians have been involved in educating and orienting overweight patients for years and the results have not been impressive. What, then, are we to do?

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