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Editor's Note
October 03, 2016

The Medicalization of Common Conditions

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 3, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6210

When JAMA Internal Medicine launched the Less Is More series 6 years ago, we commented that one area of concern was “medicalization” of common conditions.1 In this issue, Shahraz et al1 elegantly demonstrate how common conditions can be “medicalized.” Using NHANES data they find that a widely promoted web-based risk test would label more than 73 million Americans, including more than 80% of those older than 60 years, as being at high risk for “prediabetes,” a condition never heard of 10 years ago.2 We suggest a better approach to preventing the epidemic of obesity and its multiple health-related complications is emphasis on healthful diet, weight loss when appropriate, and increased physical activity at all levels—by schools, the medical profession, and public health and governmental agencies.

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