Weight Management (Health Ebook)

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The prevalence of obesity in the United States has doubled in the past two decades. Nearly one­third of adults are obese, that is, they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. One of the fastest growing segments of the population is that with a BMI with accompanying comorbidities.

Over the last two decades, the prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents has increased substantially; it is estimated that as many as 16 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, representing a doubling of the rate among children and tripling of the rate among adoles­ cents.

A high prevalence of overweight and obesity is of great public health concern because excess body fat leads to a higher risk for premature death, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, respiratory dysfunc­ tion, gout, osteoarthritis, and certain kinds of cancers. Ideally, the goal for adults is to achieve and maintain a body weight that optimizes their health.

However, for obese adults, even modest weight loss (e.g., 10 pounds) has health benefits, and the prevention of further weight gain is very important. For overweight children and adolescents, the goal is to slow the rate of weight gain while achieving normal growth and development. Maintaining a healthy weight throughout childhood may reduce the risk of becoming an overweight or obese adult. Eating fewer calories while increasing physical activity are the keys to controlling body weight.

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