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Panel Discussion—New England Surgical Society
April 1, 2004


Arch Surg. 2004;139(4):406-414. doi:10.1001/archsurg.139.4.406

Dr Benotti: On behalf of the panel, we are delighted to have the opportunity to present to the New England Surgical Society this area of rapid growth in surgery today—the problem of dealing with severe obesity. Obesity is the most common and costly nutritional problem in the United States today contributing to 300 fatalities per year. Obesity is close to smoking as the most frequent cause of early fatality. The risk of morbidity and early mortality is proportional to the severity of the obesity. The risk of adult obesity seems to be profoundly affected by the presence of childhood and parental obesity. Long considered a social problem in 1985, obesity is now recognized as a disease.