Obesity is largely blamed on the lack of willpower by Americans, reveals a new survey. This is despite the fact that the basic factors contributing to obesity are genetics and environment, according to the study conducted by researchers from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and NORC at the University of Chicago.
"A lack of individual willpower is cited as the biggest barrier to weight loss, and a majority of people with obesity attempt to lose weight without the help of medical professionals," the survey stated, reported PEOPLE.com.
One-third of Americans are found to be obese and over-weight as per statistics revealed in the survey that was conducted on 1,509 adult American participants, including African Americans and Hispanics. The survey showed that 94 percent of the obese participants were unable to shed weight despite dieting and working out.
"It's frustrating to see doctors and the general public stigmatise patients with obesity and blame these patients, ascribing attributes of laziness or lack of willpower," obesity researcher Dr. Donna Ryan told The New York Times.
Most of the participants considered obesity to be as severe as cancer, and more serious and fatal than heart diseases and diabetes. They also felt that this health issue should be tackled by the individuals themselves.
"If you think a disease is a potential killer, as serious as cancer, why would you take on its treatment and cure by yourself? The reaction of people to something that is a potential killer is mind-blowing," Dr. Raul J. Rosenthal, the president of the society that financed this study, told The New York Times.
According to experts, medical treatment, drug prescription and surgery could aid in curbing obesity, apart from dieting and exercising.