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Being Fat – Not Just Your Fault

A survey recently conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago has found that people view obesity and cancer as the 2 most serious health issues plaguing Americans today.

While cancer is immediately treated by a suite of medical professionals, obesity is often a medical orphan. More than than 35% of people who are obese have not spoken with any health professional regarding their situation.

This is due to a common misconception that obesity can be solved through willpower and that being fat means you are lazy, and therefore there is nothing to speak with a doctor about. This approach is further enforced by the media and, unfortunately, many doctors.

We know today that obesity is caused by a multitude of factors:

  • genetics
  • environmental factors (think aggressive marketing, ubiquitous presence of food)
  • behavioral factors (conditioning to constantly “graze”)
  • other diseases or drugs (some antidepressants lead to weight gain)
  • emotional factors

While it may seem that the cards are stacked against you, understanding reality is always the best way to start thinking of a solution. Many of the environmental factors can be addressed by making changes in the home and workplace. Some of the behavioral and emotional issues can be addressed through work with a dietitian or psychologist.

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