Obesity Research--Limitations of Methods, Measurement, and Medications

Simons-Morton, Denise G.; Obarzanek, Eva; Cutler, Jeffrey A.
February 2006
JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association;2/15/2006, Vol. 295 Issue 7, p826
Academic Journal
The article discusses problems concerning the research methodology studying obesity and drugs to treat obesity. Obesity is a major public health issue for U.S. adults, 65% of whom are estimated to be overweight or obese. It contributes to overall health care costs and threatens to lower life expectancy. The drug rimonabant has been studied as a possible method of treating obesity in the United States. The method of randomization can fail when biased researchers do not investigate nonadherence. Diet and exercise, the recommended treatments for obesity, are difficult for physicians to implement and monitor on behalf of patients. Further research is needed, as well as a broader societal health approach. Drug treatment should be limited pending further study, and should be viewed in this wider context.


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