Obesity is a well-known risk factor for diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. However, it is often considered to be a risk factor brought on by choice, or by inaction. This stigma, in combination with body image norms, oversimplifies obesity as it also complicates how individuals and society engage in discussions or interventions.
“If you go up to anyone on the street and ask them how to cure schizophrenia, they will have no idea. But if you ask anyone how to cure obesity, they will think they know,” said Richard Simerly, Louise B. McGavock Professor and professor of molecular physiology and biophysics. “But it is much more complicated than that.”