SUMMARY: Obesity has many causes, and while we would like to think the answer is as easy as people exercising more and eating less, it isn’t that simple. There is disagreement whether obesity is really considered a disease or a behavioral risk factor, similar to smoking, alcohol, and substance abuse that may lead to disease. Obesity is a multifactorial disease in which environmental conditions and several genes play an important role in developing this disease. Obesity is associated with neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington diseases) and neurodevelopmental diseases (autism disorder, schizophrenia, and fragile X syndrome). Some of the environmental conditions that lead to obesity are physical activity, alcohol consumption, socioeconomic status, parent feeding behavior, and diet.

Obesity represents a catastrophic failure of government policy, public health, and medicine

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  • By 2030, nearly one in two adults will be obese, and nearly one in four will be severely obese.
  • In as many as 29 states, the prevalence of obesity will exceed 50 percent, with no state having less than 35 percent of residents who are obese.
  • Well-intentioned efforts like limiting access to huge portions of sugar-sweetened soda, the scientists note, are effectively thwarted by well-heeled industries able to dwarf the impact of educational efforts by health departments that have minuscule budgets by comparison.
  • Yet too many people believe pharma wants people to stay sick so they can make money.
The absurdity of blaming pharma

KEY IDEA: America’s expanding waistlines are causing health spending to spiral out of control. Obesity-related illnesses consume nearly a third of the nation’s health-care dollars An obese adult uses 42 percent more health care than a healthy-weight adult, and a morbidly obese adult uses a staggering 81 percent more, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Until we start fighting this epidemic, the nations’ healthcare costs are going to continue to climb.

KEY TAKEAWAY: 71% of healthcare professionals believe that people with obesity are not interested in losing weight. “Obesity is one of the most complex, chronic health challenges faced by our society today, yet the current approach to obesity management falls short compared to other similar chronic diseases,” commented Professor Ian Caterson, ACTION IO lead investigator and foundation director of the Boden Institute at the University of Sydney.