Monday, January 25, 2010

Obesity Surge Linked to Increased Use of Psych Meds

In an op-ed in the Boston Globe Paula J. Caplan, a clinical and research psychologist at Harvard University, wrote that an "overlooked" primary cause of "America's obesity epidemic" is the increased use of psychiatric medicines, as many of them "cause weight gain -- often of the rapid and massive sort." Caplan suggests that this link is not well known possibly due to the power of the pharmaceutical industry or clinicians not knowing other treatments. Caplan argues against listing obesity as a mental illness, as it can be caused by "physical problems that are often undiagnosed." Caplan also says that doctors should "explore other non-drug ways to treat emotional problems."

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