LOS ANGELES -- Apparently, there is one bastion of American life that has not yet been touched by the obesity epidemic -- medical school.
So say a pair of physicians from the University of Pittsburgh. In a commentary published online this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, they argue that medical students should get a whole lot more formal training in how to treat obese patients.
More than one in three American adults is obese, and yet medical textbooks "almost exclusively display normal-sized models with obvious bony landmarks," write Dr. Ann Willman Silk and Dr. Kathleen M. McTigue. Physical exams are usually practiced on healthy-weight patients. So when confronted with a patient whose internal organs are buried beneath a thick layer of fat, doctors are often ill-prepared to assess them.