J Med Ethics 34:319 doi:10.1136/jme.2007.023598
  • Editorial

Should we force the obese to diet?

  1. Simona Giordano
  1. Dr S Giordano, CSEP/IMLAB, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL; simona.giordano{at}
  • Received 31 October 2007
  • Accepted 31 October 2007

There are around 94 000 000 obese people in the US alone, where 30% of the population is classified as obese.1 In industrialised countries, cardio-vascular diseases, associated with obesity and lack of physical activity, are the leading causes of death.

Many millions of people affected by obesity expose themselves to stroke, heart attack, atherosclerosis, type-2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and other joint problems, sleeping problems (apnoea, for example), cancer, and psychological illnesses such as depression.

While both in the United States and in the United …

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