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Understanding the Complex Journey to Obesity in Early Adulthood

Robert C. Whitaker, MD, MPH
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Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039

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.

Ann Intern Med. 2002;136(12):923-925. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-136-12-200206180-00013
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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.



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