Obesity is one of the least understood, chronic metabolic diseases. In a Clinical Practice Statement, The Obesity Medicine Association has identified 30 of the more common myths about obesity.
“Obesity meets every objective criteria as a disease. Yet, not everyone is convinced obesity is a disease,” said Dr. Harold Bays MD, (Lead author and Editor-in-Chief of Obesity Pillars). “This is just one example of the myths and/or misunderstandings about obesity and patients with obesity.”
Managing obesity is made more challenging when patients and clinicians receive conflicting information, based more on opinion and bias than facts. “Most patients are not predestined towards obesity due to some unalterable setpoint” said Dr. Bays. “Also, caloric intake really does matter when managing patients with obesity.”
“Conversely, obesity is not caused solely by eating too much, and obesity is not mostly due to an inherent lack of will power. These are just a few of 30 myths regarding the disease of obesity,” said Dr. Bays.
Dr. Bays concedes that not everyone will agree with the listed 30 obesity myths, misunderstandings, or oversimplifications. This may be due to variances in the reader’s individual experiences, clinical practice experiences, differences of interpretation of existing science, emergence of new science, business interests, cultural norms or other global beliefs, and personal bias. “Despite these caveats, my hope is that a review of these 30 obesity myths, misunderstandings, or oversimplifications can help start a dialogue that allows for better clarity on the scientific foundation we rely upon to help inform our management of patients with obesity.”
Click here to read the full Clinical Practice Statement.