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A group of experts have produced a

consensus statement on combatting

obesity stigma, outlining common

myths about obesity and issuing

recommendations for policy, healthcare,

media, and research.

Referring to over 100 scientific and

medical articles to discuss the science

and medicine of obesity, the experts aim

to move away from the association of

blame against people who are overweight

or obese. The misconceptions include:

• Body weight = calories in - calories

out. Bodyweight depends on much

more than eating and exercise (calories

in and calories out) with many different

factors affecting this equation, including

metabolic rate (the amount of energy

the body uses at rest), which varies from

person to person.

• Obesity is primarily caused by

voluntary overeating and a sedentary

(inactive) lifestyle. Genetics, sleep

deprivation, stress and medication

also contribute to obesity. In addition,

overeating and a lack of physical activity

might be symptoms of obesity rather than

root causes.

• Obesity is a lifestyle choice. Data

shows that people with obesity recognise

it as a serious health problem, not as a

conscious choice.

A therapy app is helping users to reduce

the risk of depression by changing their

eating habits to reflect a Mediterranean

diet, high in fruits, vegetables, fish, olive

oil, nuts and seeds, and low in sugar and

saturated fat.

Flow, developed by Flow

Neuroscience, Europe's first (and

only) medically approved home brain

stimulation treatment for depression, is

based on clinical studies that showed

over 32.3% of depressed patients had

significantly reduced the risk of depression

after 12 weeks just by changing their

eating habits.

The app recommends foods that

reduce the risk of depression and offers

psychological strategies to switch off the

autopilot craving mechanism and avoid

foods known to trigger symptoms. It

features interactive content, including daily

chat conversations about the impact of

nutrition on depression, and psychological

strategies to help users switch off their

autopilot craving mechanism and avoid

foods known to trigger symptoms.

The app can also be used alongside

the Flow Neuroscience home brain

stimulation headset. Randomised

controlled trials showed that the type of

brain stimulation used in the Flow headset

• Obesity is a condition, not a disease.

Labelling obesity as a disease, risk

factor, or condition has implications for

treatment and policy development and

can contribute to promoting or mitigating

stigmatising views toward affected


• Severe obesity is usually reversible

by voluntarily eating less and exercising

more. This is not supported by evidence.

Body weight is not just regulated by

voluntary food intake and physical


had a similar impact to antidepressants

but with fewer and less-severe side



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