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Obesity takes all the blame

October 13, 2008

Thank you for your piece on the rise of acid reflux disease in America ["Gut Check for Reflux," Oct. 6]. Just a look around confirms what the study you cite says: Americans are becoming increasingly afflicted with acid reflux. I began to suffer from it at the age of 22, and several of my friends did shortly thereafter.

What bothers me about all of the research on acid reflux (and other illnesses) is our national obsession with obesity. Virtually every medical study I see attributes another trend to fat people, and I think it's a cop-out.

I know that obesity is a problem in the United States, but I'm not overweight and my diet is very healthy, and yet my acid reflux bothers me every day and has for years. My friends who suffer from GERD are similarly healthy, and we're tired of being told that all of our medical problems are a result of the obesity epidemic.

I wish doctors and researchers would look past obesity more often and explore what other aspects of the American environment might contribute to trends such as the rise in acid reflux and the increase in women's heart disease.

Amanda Rea

Denver

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