Overcoming Simplistic Biases about a Complex, Chronic Disease

Simplistic biases about the complex chronic disease of obesity have led policymakers to pursue simple solutions that simply haven’t worked. Four new policy commentaries about obesity call for a shift to strategies that are up to the task.

  1. OAC Chairman Ted Kyle says “To reduce the already staggering impact of obesity, we must set aside simplistic biases about this complex, chronic disease and aggressively pursue innovative, evidence-based approaches for both treatment and prevention of obesity.”
  2. Obesity Society President Nikhil Dhurandhar says “Obesity is already taking a toll on our society, both on personal and economic levels. More than one-third (about 35.7%) of American adults are affected by obesity, a serious disease that is tied to more than 30 other health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.”
  3. Chairman Kenneth Thorpe of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases says “Addressing the obesity epidemic is no doubt an incredible challenge but by putting together a series of strategies aimed at fighting chronic diseases like obesity, better health at lower costs can be achieved.”
  4. Columbia University Professor Michael Rosenbaum says “Obesity is our most common and costly chronic disease. It is not true that 67 percent of adult Americans lack willpower. As Benjamin Franklin wrote, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ We have the opportunity right now to make it easier for those of us who are overweight or obese to receive earlier treatment and also to support research to make that treatment more effective, more personalized, and less costly. It is time for the legislative couch potato to stand up and move.”

A great deal of complexity lies behind the seemingly simple notion of energy balance. To defeat obesity, policymakers must dig deeper.

Click here for the commentaries by Kyle, Dhurandhar, and Thorpe. Click here for the commentary by Rosenbaum.

Simplicity, photograph © Namelas Frade / flickr

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One Response to “Overcoming Simplistic Biases about a Complex, Chronic Disease”

  1. January 26, 2015 at 9:06 am, Allen Browne said: