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The Merits of Subtyping Obesity:  One Size Does Not Fit All

Alison E. Field , ScD1,2,3; Carlos A. Camargo Jr, MD, DrPH1,2,4; Shuji Ogino, MD, PhD1,5,6
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health
2Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
3Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
4Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
5Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
6Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
JAMA. 2013;310(20):2147-2148. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281501.
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In the United States, approximately 70% of adults and 33% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.1,2 Although it is widely accepted that there are a variety of genetic, behavioral, and environmental determinants, the strength of the associations of individual risk factors with obesity is only small to moderate. Other than bariatric surgery, no pharmacologic or behavioral weight loss treatments have been found to consistently result in large sustained weight losses. One reason for the lack of stronger associations with risk factors or more consistently successful treatment is that all types of overweight and obesity are often grouped together. This approach potentially obscures strong associations between risk factors and specific subtypes of obesity.

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obesity

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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