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 al2 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.
Redberg RF. The Medicalization of Common Conditions. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(12):1863. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6210