This letter perpetuates the stereotype that overweight people are just gluttons with no self-control.
In reality, obesity is a complex issue, involving biological, physiological and psychological factors. That is why it deserves the American Medical Assn.'s classification as a disease. If it were as simple as following "common-sense medical advice" (which amounts to "eat less, exercise more"), there would be no obesity epidemic. The reason "most would rather run from it at the risk of their lives" is that they have tried this advice, otherwise known as "willpower," dozens of times and have lost the battle each time.
Medication and surgery are only interim solutions until we know more about the causes of obesity. Less ignorance and more compassion would go a long way too.
Susan J. Leviton
The writer is a licensed marriage and family therapist.