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New Treatments for Obesity


Obesity is a state of excess adipose tissue mass. It should be distinguished from the condition of being overweight, which is defined as excess weight compared to an arbitrary standard. The most widely used method of gauging obesity lean body mass.

The definition of obesity has been refined by the realization that the accumulation of adipose tissue in different anatomic depots has substantial implications for morbidity. Intraabdominal or visceral fat has more significance than does subcutaneous fat, especially fat that is present in the buttocks and lower extremities. This distinction is most easily made by quantitation of the waist to hip ratio.

Many of the most important complications of obesity, such as insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and hyperandrogenism in women, are linked more strongly to intraabdominal and/or upper body fat than to overall adiposity.

Prevalence of Obesity

Thirty four million Americans are 20% or more above ideal body weight, and recent large scale epidemiologic studies indicate that the average weight and prevalence of obesity have increased in America over the past 10 years, with 33% of US adults 20 years of age or older being overweight. Obesity is more prevalent among women and in the poor.

Etiology of Obesity

Ultimately, the degree of obesity, overweight, fat loss,

The average total daily energy expenditure is higher in obese than in lean individuals. Energy expenditure falls as weight is lost, due in part to loss of lean body mass. When reduced to near normal weight may have lower energy expenditure than lean individuals. There is a tendency for infants or children who go on to develop obesity to have lower rates.