Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center


physicians wearing masks

Weight is a major influencer of a person’s overall health, which may be why more than 48% of Americans named losing weight as their New Year’s resolution last year. When our weight increases, it also raises our risk for a host of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, certain cancers and mental health issues and more.

Despite the health implications of carrying a few extra pounds, Drew Payne, D.O., an internal medicine practitioner for Texas Tech Physicians, said being overweight is viewed as a cosmetic flaw rather than a disease. That misconception, he contended, is a reflection of how society defines obesity and views people who are overweight.

“We like to clarify that a person is not obese; we say a person has obesity, just like a person is not hypertensive; they have hypertension,” Payne explained. “That [misconception] stems from our implicit and explicit bias toward weight as a society.”

Payne, who also sees patients at Texas Tech Physicians Weight Management Clinic, said gaining weight is often the result of cultural influences. Whether we like it or not,