Health

Do video games drive obesity?

A chubby teen lolling on the sofa for hours on end, the game controller in one hand, a bag of crisps at his side and a bottle of coke on the coffee table. This is the mental picture many people have of the typical gamer. ...

Neuroscience

Researchers call for personalized approach to aging brain health

People are living longer than ever before, but brain health isn't keeping up. To tackle this critical problem, a team of researchers has proposed a new model for studying age-related cognitive decline—one that's tailored ...

Health

The Trebek effect: The benefits of well wishes

Long-time "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek announced in March that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Within days, he offered thanks to "the hundreds of thousands of people who have sent emails, texts, tweets, ...

Diabetes

Stem-cell based therapy for type 2 diabetes and obesity

An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine details a new therapeutic strategy for obesity and type 2 diabetes. The study, led by Dr. Bing Wang, Professor in the Department of General Surgery at Shanghai Ninth ...

Overweight & Obesity

A simple way to help prevent child obesity

(HealthDay)—Kids who don't drink water take in nearly 100 more calories from sugary drinks every day than those who do, according to a recent Penn State study.

Cardiology

Even in young children: Higher weight = higher blood pressure

Overweight four-year-olds have a doubled risk of high blood pressure by age six, raising the hazard of future heart attack and stroke. That's the finding of a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, ...

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Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Body mass index (BMI), a measurement which compares weight and height, defines people as overweight (pre-obese) if their BMI is between 25 and 30 kg/m2, and obese when it is greater than 30 kg/m2.

Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food energy intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility, although a few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications or psychiatric illness. Evidence to support the view that some obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is limited; on average obese people have a greater energy expenditure than their thin counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.

Dieting and physical exercise are the mainstays of treatment for obesity. Moreover, it is important to improve diet quality by reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods such as those high in fat and sugars, and by increasing the intake of dietary fiber. To supplement this, or in case of failure, anti-obesity drugs may be taken to reduce appetite or inhibit fat absorption. In severe cases, surgery is performed or an intragastric balloon is placed to reduce stomach volume and/or bowel length, leading to earlier satiation and reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food.

Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing prevalence in adults and children, and authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. Obesity is stigmatized in much of the modern world (particularly in the Western world), though it was widely perceived as a symbol of wealth and fertility at other times in history, and still is in some parts of the world.

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