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Obesity has been an interest since a medical student in 1968 I presented a case study of a 13 year old girl in the Paediatric Ward who weighed 18 stone and was  on a starvation regime.

Since the 1960’s the problem of overweight and obesity has increased in  the United Kingdom, the rich world and even in the poor world. In Papua New Guinea in 2004 it was a significant problem.

There are many explanations….causes

Physical work is no longer physical

Food has been cheap, tasty, convenient and high in calories

Advertising has persuaded people to eat “empty calories”

Cigarette smoking has decreased mirrored by an increase in obesity for nicotine reduces appetite


Obesity and its care are “big business”—diets, clinics, health farms, fitness regimes

New and powerful drugs to change our appetites, reduce absorption of food, reset hypothalamic receptors mean big profits for drug companies

Bariatric surgery is a new and flourishing specialty and a mainly private market.