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Barriers to the Treatment of Obesity

George A. Bray, MD
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Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Ann Intern Med. 1991;115(2):152-153. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-115-2-152
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There is clear and convincing evidence that modern appetite-suppressant drugs are effective and safe. However, there are several barriers to the proper use of these drugs and other treatments. These barriers include the public perception that obesity is a disease resulting from a lack of willpower, the professional expectation that appetite-suppressant drugs should cure obesity, hindrance by state licensing agencies, regulatory rigidity, limited research funding, and legislative grandstanding.

Clinical and experimental data suggest that modern appetite-suppressant drugs have little risk (1, 2). Drug abuse with amphetamine, methamphetamine, and phenmetrazine is well recognized, and these drugs have no place in the




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