Rather than Focusing on Weight, Focus on Actual Indicators of Health

by Erin
In a Letter to the Editor, Dr. T and DiSH lab collaborator Jeff Hunger respond to an article recently published in the American Journal of Public Health, “Probability of an obese person attaining normal body weight: cohort study using electronic health records” (Fildes et al., 2015). In the original article, authors discuss the relatively low probability of overweight and obese individuals achieving and maintaining weight loss, and emphasize the need for obesity prevention and weight loss maintenance treatment options.
In the words of Dr. T & Jeff, “We agree that advances in research and policy should be leveraged to promote population health. However, we assert that this can best be achieved by shifting the focus away from markers of weight such as body mass index…a fervent emphasis on weight is likely to do more harm than good. Thus, to effectively promote the health and well-being of all individuals (regardless of their size), researchers, clinicians, and policymakers should eschew weight as the primary outcome of interest”.

 

Check out the full Letter to the Editor here!

The original article can be found here.

 

Citation for article:

Fildes A, Charlton J, Rudisill C, Littlejohns P, Prevost AT, Gulliford MC. Probability of an obese person attaining normal body weight: cohort study using electronic health records. Am J Public Health. 2015; Epub ahead of print.


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