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The Widespread Weight Problem, Measuring Obesity, Causes Of Obesity, The Health Effects Of Obesity

Obesity can be defined as a body weight that is greater than 30% above a favorable target weight. In order to fit the definition of obesity, the excess weight must be due to adipose, or fat, tissue. Muscle mass does not account for the weight attributed to obesity. Therefore, a body-builder with tremendous muscle mass for example is not, by definition, obese. A deleterious condition, obesity is harmful because of the many other health problems associated with it. In fact, even moderate obesity can contribute to additional health problems. The condition has been linked to common but very serious diseases such as high blood pressure, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular (heart) disease, and arthritis. A proposed link between obesity and certain kinds of cancer has also been put forth in recent years, making the health risks of weight-gain more evident. According to experts, obesity has reached epidemic proportions within the United States, affecting millions of American citizens. This increase in obesity, and associated illness, is believed to be the result of a modern trend toward elevated daily caloric intake combined with a decrease in physical activity. As many as two-thirds of the American adult population report trying to lose weight or keep weight off. Yet, recent information shows that many Americans do not follow well-established lifestyle guidelines that can accomplish both.

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