Robert C. Whitaker, MD, MPH
Acknowledgment: The author thanks Robert S. Kahn, MD, MPH, for his assistance and the Center for Health and Wellbeing at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, for its financial support.
Requests for Single Reprints: Robert C. Whitaker, MD, MPH, General and Community Pediatrics Research Center, ML-7035, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039.
Whitaker R.; Understanding the Complex Journey to Obesity in Early Adulthood. Ann Intern Med. 2002;136:923-925. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-136-12-200206180-00013
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;136(12):923-925.
To anyone delivering health care to adults in the United States, the impact of obesity on physical and emotional health is obvious. Obesity is often related to the pathophysiology of a patient's “chief complaint.” When it is not, the obesity is still likely to influence how the physician diagnoses and manages the patient's health concerns. Even those in practice for only a few years feel that more of their patients are obese now than before and that their patients are becoming obese at even younger ages. For these reasons, obesity is increasingly hard to ignore.
Obesity can generate complex emotions that complicate the physician–patient dialogue. Physicians do not like feeling unable to help their patients “cure” obesity (1). Though not well documented, it seems likely that more physicians themselves are also becoming obese. To assert the truth—that small and sustained imbalance in energy intake and expenditure leads to obesity—is of no more help to the obese patient than it is to the obese physician. There is much more to why we sit or move and why we do or do not eat. The pathway to obesity is a complex journey.
to gain full access to the content and tools.
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only