TOS Responds to JAMA on Drug Treatment of Obesity

Letter from the President

TOS eNews, Wednesday, August 6Dr.Smith 0685


Dear Colleagues,


As you may remember, this past April authors Steven Woloshin, MD, MS, and Lisa Schwartz, MD, MS, published an opinion piece in JAMA Internal Medicine, entitled: The New Weight-Loss Drugs, Lorcaserin and Phentermine-Topiramate – Slim Pickings? The article sparked much debate among the obesity community, prompting responses from both TOS and the Obesity Action Coalition.


I’m pleased to share that both letters were published this week in the August issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. Both relay the need to recognize obesity as a disease and take the treatment of obesity seriously.


I found this avenue for a response a valuable opportunity to express concern for Woloshin and Schwartz’s dismissal of obesity as a disease, disregard for the well-established benefits of modest weight loss, and focus on cardiovascular risk as the sole reason to treat obesity. As I included in the letter, healthy conversations between physicians and patients are critical to making informed choices about pharmacotherapy. Opinion that strays from scientific data, like that shared by Woloshin and Schwartz, may keep those affected by obesity from seeking, and accessing, the medications they need.  


I encourage you to read the responses online here and here, and share them with your friends and colleagues.




Steven R. Smith, MD
The Obesity Society President

(Please note: External Links are provided as a courtesy. The Obesity Society is not responsible for the content on sites accessed through external links.)

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