Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 02 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:580

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With an obesity epidemic in full swing in the West, some are worried that aggressive dieting will lead to a greater incidence of eating disorders. In the United States, 123 obese women were randomised to two different diets or a non-dieting group (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004;80: 560-8). At week 20 the groups were similar in terms of the number of binge episodes. At week 28, the strictest dieting group had more binge episodes, but by weeks 40 and 65 these differences had disappeared.

Remember those sultry, sexy pictures of the young James Dean? If Minerva's memory serves her, most of them showed a lit cigarette in his hand. A New Zealand study of teenagers' appraisals of smokers in films reveals that they are strongly influenced by age and sex. Younger teenagers and males were likely to see female smokers as sexy, intelligent, and healthy, whereas older students and females saw female smokers as stressed, bored, and depressed (Tobacco Control 2004;13: 308-14).

It's often a matter of perspective in medicine. A patient undergoing rectal examination was overheard to say, “That's where it hurts, doctor, just inside the entrance.” …

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