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May 6, 1974

Eating, Loving and Dying: A Psychology of Appetites

Author Affiliations

Coconut Grove, Fla

JAMA. 1974;228(6):765. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230310071039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Physicians who truly understand obesity will find Daniel Cappon's pithy monograph conservative, well written, and accurate, but narrow in scope. The author's chief point is that overweight is caused by a combination of overeating and insufficient exercise. Although the thesis is hardly original, it can be scathingly effective when applied.

Dr. Cappon's psychoanalytic background and extensive experience in treating both obesity and cachexia make for an interesting and well-crafted approach to a familiar problem. One current research trend is to lump total drug and food abuse into the category of substance abuse. This concept can give the physician options of perceiving important similarities between obesity, alcoholism, and heroin addiction. All forms of substance abuse have in common two features: (1) an imbalance in the metabolism or utilization of the substance, and (2) lack of proper exercise and mind-body balance that choice forms of corrective exercise may help to induce.