The Second International Congress on Obesity was held in Washington, DC, in October. The mere fact that the attendance was international indicates that this all-too-common malady is not restricted to citizens of the United States. The three-day meeting covered a variety of topics, from adipocyte metabolism to the newer treatment methods.
M. Ashwell (England) reviewed the results achieved both here and abroad by various commercial weight loss groups, such as Weight Watchers, TOPS, and Silhouette. These groups have produced degrees of weight loss comparable to those claimed for prescribed diets by physicians and dieticians. Yet these results have not been spectacular: only a third of the participants lose 10 kg or more, and the drop-out rate is distressingly high. But the cost is nominal, and the participants have the advantage of belonging to a group whose members share a common problem. One cannot help wondering why groups geared specifically to