No quick fix to obesity | AspenTimes.com

No quick fix to obesity

Dear Editor:

The recent withdrawal of the diet drug Meridia from all markets is the latest setback in the long and frustrating quest for a pharmaceutical solution to our obesity epidemic. Drug companies have spent millions of dollars on research and development, but none of the diet drugs on the market is considered very effective, and some are even dangerous.

Unfortunately, obesity is the number one public health problem in our community and for our nation – one-third of our population is obese – responsible for heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, and accounting for millions of premature deaths annually.

Causes of obesity include consumption of fat-laden meat and dairy products and inadequate exercise. The failure of the drug industry to come up with a quick fix adds emphasis to the diet/exercise solution, which is particularly critical during childhood years, when lifestyle habits become lifelong addictions.

We need to adopt some healthy changes to solve this crisis. Let’s start by replacing meat and dairy products in our diet with wholesome grains, vegetables, and fruits, and adopt a regular exercise program. We must insist our schools introduce wholesome meal choices for our children, because they are our future.

Andrew Torelli

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