Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bioethics leader calls for bold approach to fighting obesity

Date:
January 22, 2013
Source:
The Hastings Center
Summary:
Arguing that obesity "may be the most difficult and elusive public health problem the United States has ever encountered" and that anti-obesity efforts having made little discernible difference, one expert proposes a bold and controversial approach to fighting the epidemic.

Arguing that obesity "may be the most difficult and elusive public health problem the United States has ever encountered" and that anti-obesity efforts having made little discernible difference, Daniel Callahan, co-founder and President Emeritus of The Hastings Center, proposes a bold and controversial approach to fighting the epidemic.

Callahan says that the public health community can learn from one of the most successful public health campaigns: the anti-smoking campaign. A primary strategy has been to stigmatize smokers, he says, making it clear that their behavior is not only unhealthy for them but is also socially unacceptable. While the public health community has decisively rejected the stigmatization of obesity, Callahan directly challenges that rejection.

In "Obesity: Chasing an Elusive Epidemic," an article in the Hastings Center Report, Callahan says that what he calls "stigmatization lite," if used carefully, could provide an important strategy in the strikingly unsuccessful effort to help the 67 percent of Americans who are overweight or obese lose weight. He cites estimates that no more than 10 percent of those who try to lose weight succeed in the long run.

Callahan does not deny that stigmatization can do harm, such as increasing the risk of discrimination in the workplace and health care. But he believes that that risk would be minimized by "stigmatization lite," in which people who are overweight consider the threat of discrimination itself as a danger to be avoided: "don't let this happen to you!" His aim is to complement, not replace, public health strategies that would bring to bear a strong government hand, making use of laws and regulations and subsidizing healthy foods, good medical counseling, and special efforts at obesity prevention programs for children.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hastings Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Hastings Center. "Bioethics leader calls for bold approach to fighting obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130122143103.htm>.
The Hastings Center. (2013, January 22). Bioethics leader calls for bold approach to fighting obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130122143103.htm
The Hastings Center. "Bioethics leader calls for bold approach to fighting obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130122143103.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins