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June 1954

OBESITYIts Complications and Sequelae

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;93(6):951-966. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00240300145015

OBESITY is the commonest physical abnormality in the United States. Its incidence has been estimated to be one-fifth of the population. Furthermore, the incidence has been gradually on the rise to the point where the United States may have the dubious honor of being entitled the most overfed nation in the world. What are the penalties of obesity? By the layman it is recognized as a definite esthetic, social, and economic handicap. To the physician the obese person is the victim of a disease accompanied by a high incidence of certain associated physical and mental pathological states and a decidedly decreased longevity. Keys1 has pointed out the astounding fact that this country, which has the best medical care in the world, has the highest mortality rate in the middle-aged populations. In the 16 countries which have reliable vital statistics only the population of Portugal and the women of South Africa