Americans suffering from obesity today need a holistic approach that includes a wide range of treatment options, from diet and exercise to drug therapies and surgery. If there were a one-size-fits-all solution, we would have solved this problem long ago. Patients need individualized approaches to lose weight, avoid chronic conditions and begin to break the cycle of obesity.
Just as it took a nation of communities to effectively address the effect of Hurricane Katrina, overcoming the national obesity epidemic will require the collaboration and long-term dedication of individuals, physicians, support teams and communities. Solutions will not be easy or quick, but we must address this issue now for both the financial and physical well-being of present and future generations.
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) is a physician specializing in the treatment of diseases of the liver.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.