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Obese people generally don't have a choice

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

I was disturbed to read your Sunday editorial concerning the obesity epidemic in this country ("Fat and Fact," Nov. 22). While much of what you say is factually accurate, you place too much blame on the individual. You say that "people who are too fat often do have a choice." In fact, obese people generally do not have a choice. No one chooses to be fat. Obesity is dictated more by genetics than any other single factor. To be obese is no more a choice than the color of one's eyes or skin.

Even the brightest researchers in the field accept that we know little about the root causes of obesity. They would all agree that it is more complicated than your facile "death by doughnut" comment. Hunger and satiety are much more challenging issues than you seem to imagine.

We can all agree that something needs to be done to manage the obesity problem, but it is unfair to blame the individual. A health-care economist might be surprised to find that the obese population wish for a solution far more than any policy wonk.

 

ROBERT F. QUINLIN, M.D.
Fox Chapel

 

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