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Heart Health

Rethinking obesity

June 1, 2022

Experts want to reframe how we talk about and treat this common disease, which is a threat to cardiovascular health.

photo of the hands of a medical professional measuring the waist of an overweight man, view is cropped so faces are unseenMisconceptions about obesity are common. For instance, many people believe that if people with obesity would just exert extra willpower to eat less and exercise more, they could easily reach and stay at a healthy, normal weight.

Even people who struggle with obesity may believe this, despite the fact that repeated personal experience often tells them otherwise. The growing prevalence of obesity — which now affects just over 42% of people in this country — is further evidence that it’s a complex, challenging disease (see "Defining obesity").

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