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Over one-half of all Americans about 97 million are overweight or obese If you are overweight or obese carrying this extra weight puts you at risk for developing many diseases especially heart disease stroke diabetes and cancer Losing this weight helps to prevent and control these diseases Obesity is a condition of excess body fat It is the most common form of malnutrition in the Western world It is important to note that no diet or weight loss formula works independently of an eating plan based on the Dietary Guidelines given by the mainstream nutrition and health institutes So if you are obese throw away all those special formulas supplements and pills stop eating more calories than you need become more physically active and adopt a healthy eating plan Severe overweight increases the risk for high blood cholesterol high blood pressure and diabetes and hence for diseases for which these conditions are risk factors diabetes coronary heart disease high blood pressure neurologic disorders cancers and kidney diseases Obesity thus contributes to premature mortality Of all obesity-related diseases noninsulin dependent diabetes is most clearly and strongly associated with obesity Obesity is associated with too many adipose cells hyperplastic obesity adipose cells that are too large hypertrophic obesity or both While changes in the size of adipose cells may occur at any age the number of adult cells are fixed and determined by weight gain during certain periods of childhood development fat cell numbers are established by late adolescence and once established does not decline Women generally have more subcutaneous fat than men but men appear to suffer a greater cardiovascular risk from a given degree of fat than women The distribution of body fat may be an indicator of this difference Men accumulate more fat cells in the abdominal region than women high waist-to-hip ratio This distribution around the abdomen referred to as upper body obesity is associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors Lower body obesity
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