Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice ABC of obesity

Obesity—time to wake up

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7569.640 (Published 21 September 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:640

Obesity on the menu!

I work with a lot of immigrants from the Pacific Islands - big
people, everyone
knows that, but Darwinianly healthy. For many, though, their weight soars
when
they come to California. A patient recently explained to me that the
culture on
the Islands is a food-based one - "there's fruit on the trees and fish in
the sea"
she said. However, that healthy, readily available sustenance is not so
easy to
get in an industrial society, and all-you-can-eat buffets become social
gathering
places.

So my initial advice, when asked for help with regaining healthy
weight, is
threefold: Eat at home with your friends and family (like your
grandparents did,
as the brilliant Michael Pollan suggests), throw away the bathroom scales
(and
let me weigh you monthly), and buy a very long tape measure!

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 September 2006
Margaret Allen
Physician Assistant
California