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A Piece of My Mind
March 20, 2013

278.00 Obesity, Not Otherwise Specified

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (etoll@lifespan.org).

JAMA. 2013;309(11):1123-1124. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1241

As a 50-something primary care physician, mother,wife, and woman of Eastern European descent who loves to cook and eat, I share on many levels the growing concern about overweight in this country and beyond. While many refer to this immense public health problem as the “obesity epidemic,” I object to that word—obesity—especially when used to describe individual patients. Calling patients obese defeats many of our aspirations as practitioners and may even sabotage the alliance we hope to establish as we take on healthy eating and living.