Medical Ethics Confronts Obesity
For decades, physicians and the public alike viewed lack of willpower as the primary cause of obesity. Physicians could do little more than counsel lifestyle change and treat the serious medical conditions associated with and exacerbated by obesity. Now, information about body weight regulation emerging from basic science labs is transforming the way medicine views obesity. This month’s issue shines a light on some of the ethical questions raised by the legacy of biases about obesity, the absence of standards for pharmacologic and surgical interventions, and policy attempts to control environmental contributors to overweight.