by Marion Nestle
Jun 12 2024

Interesting paper of the week II. History of obesity

There is much discussion these days of the complexity of causes and consequences of excessive gain body fat.  This review addresses the history of what is known—and not known—about obesity., by someone who has been studying it for decades.

Bray GA. Obesity: a 100 year perspective. Int J Obes (Lond). 2024 May 7. doi: 10.1038/s41366-024-01530-6.

His conclusion:

Obesity is both a public health issue and an individual challenge
As noted during the discussion of the Fogarty Center Conference in 1973, the public health community was already aware of the health-related risks associated with obesity even before the explosion in prevalence occurred after 1975. The ensuing pandemic of obesity with some people developing obesity, but not others, challenges modern medicine and public health. As Hippocrates said more than 2500 years ago: “Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult.” The challenge for those of us working in the field of obesity is that there is more to uncover to fully understand and be able to effectively treat people with obesity.

The paper has 137 references.  If you want to learn what the debates are about, this is a great place to begin.