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February 1966

Obesity: Affective Changes in the Fasting State

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta. Now at the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Neuropsychiatry, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(2):218-221. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730080106015

IN THE PAST few years a great deal of attention has been directed toward the obese population and new questions have been posed concerning the lack of success in their weight reduction programs. The questions which often arise in this regard are reducible to two main areas and might be expressed as, "What metabolic differences can be demonstrated in the chronically obese that make them susceptible to their weight problem, and what are the psychological factors which may cause or contribute to this condition?" The former area has been the object of considerable metabolic research6 but the latter has not yet been adequately defined.

Discussions concerning personality structure in obesity are often punctuated by vague statements regarding the inherent emotional lability of obese persons with the inference often being made that they tend to suffer from overt or occult symptoms of anxiety and/or depression for which

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