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Obesity and Mental Health

John R. Pfrommer, MD
JAMA. 1963;183(9):807. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700090127032.
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To the Editor:  —It is depressing to contemplate a so-called scientific article whose conclusions are based on measurements that were not actually made. That was my reaction after reading, "Obesity, Social Class, and Mental Illnesss," by Moore et al (JAMA181:962 [Sept 15] 1962). As a member of the staff of a large military hospital where several thousand routine physical examinations are accomplished every year, I have often been impressed by the great difference between what some people seem to think they weigh and their actual weights. Only the naive could assume that all 1,660 people interviewed as part of the Midtown Manhattan Study knew their heights and weights, or, if indeed they did know them, reported them accurately. It is specious to argue that failure to weigh the subjects of this study somehow permits greater confidence in findings of the study.If the inferences suggested by the article


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