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March 9, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(10):694-695. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600100032016

It is easy to assert in an offhand way, as do the majority of writers on nutrition, that obesity or the deposition of fat in the body is due to "superalimentation or the consumption of food in excess of the requirements," and that this is aided by "insufficient exercise, diminished metabolism, or nutritional disturbance of glandular and trophic origin."1 Leaving aside the accepted instances of admitted pathologic obesity, there remain the familiar types of persons in whom we somehow suspect an indefinable "disposition" toward corpulence. They will frequently deny that their food intake is unduly liberal, and they may even claim to observe abstemiousness in diet. Not infrequently one may see specimens of the obese and the thin in the same family and household under common conditions of diet which fail to suggest any obvious explanation for such inequalities in size. Thus it has come about that obesity has