Bariatric physician Dr. Denise Bruner says obesity is a disease with many layers—and one that many doctors haven't been trained to deal with. "It involves genetics. It involves psychological issues. It involves chemical issues. It involves hormonal issues," she says.

The biggest misconceptions about obesity, Dr. Bruner says, often come from unfair judgments. "People think: 'You're lazy. [If] you just shut your mouth and stop eating, and you won't have this problem.' They think they're stupid, uneducated. They lack willpower," she says. "It's so far from the truth."

What doctors do know about obesity, however, is that it can leave a dangerous legacy for your family. "When we see a parent, an obese parent, the child is 40 percent more likely to be obese. When you see two parents being obese, the child has an 80 percent chance of being obese," Dr. Bruner says. "We have to have treatment, but let's work on prevention also." 

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