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Global Health
April 21, 2020

Put an End to Obesity Stigma, International Panel Urges

JAMA. 2020;323(15):1435. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.5115

To bridge the gap between damaging beliefs about obesity and the condition’s scientific underpinnings, an international panel of experts has issued a consensus statement condemning weight stigma.

People who are affected by overweight or obesity are often assumed to be lazy or lacking self-discipline, based on the misconception that body-weight regulation is entirely under a person’s control, the authors wrote. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that body weight is regulated by complex factors including energy absorption in the gut, genetic and epigenetic factors, intrauterine and intergenerational effects, sleep deprivation and circadian disruption, psychological distress, endocrine disruptors, foodborne factors, and medications.