Whether obesity should be treated.
Antidieting sentiment is strengthened in part by the assumption that all diets fail, which in turn is based on data from university-based treatment programs. A small percentage of overweight people attempt to lose weight in these programs, and they differ in important ways from overweight people in general. They are heavier, more likely to be binge eaters, and have higher levels of psychopathology--all negative prognostic factors for treatment. Generalizing from the treatment of this group to all programs is highly questionable. Hence, little is known about the effectiveness of approaches used by most people. There is a pressing need for research on this topic, and a need for treatments that address the specific needs of those who seek clinical treatments.
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