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Published by: api-3722454 on Oct 15, 2008
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Chapter I

The most important part of being a normal weight isn't looking a certain way - it's feeling good and staying healthy; having too much body fat can be harmful to the body in many ways.

The number of people who are obese is rising. About 1.2 billion people in the world are overweight and at least 300 million of them are obese, even though obesity is one of the 10 most preventable health risks, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, more than 97 million adults - that's more than half - are overweight and almost one in five adults is obese. Among teenagers and kids 6 years and older, more than 15% are overweight - that's more than three times the number of young people who were overweight in the 1970s. At least 300,000 deaths every year in the United States can be linked to obesity.

A person with a Body Mass Index or BMI above the 95th percentile (meaning the BMI is greater than that of 95% of people of the same age and gender) is generally considered overweight. A person with a BMI between1

the 85th and 95th percentiles typically is considered at risk for overweight. Obesity is the term used for extreme overweight. There are some exceptions to this formula, though. For instance, someone who is very muscular (like a bodybuilder) may have a high BMI without being obese because the excess weight is from extra muscle, not fat. People gain weight when the body takes in more calories than it burns off. Those extra calories are stored as fat. The amount of weight gain that leads to obesity doesn't happen in a few weeks or months. Because being obese is more than just being a few pounds overweight, people who are obese have usually been getting more calories than they need for years.

But being obese and being overweight is not exactly the same thing. An obese person has a large amount of extra body fat, not just a few extra pounds. People who are obese are very overweight and at risk for serious health problems, such as, Cardiovascular Diseases.

Obesity can run in families, but just how much is due to genes is hard to determine. Many families eat the same foods, have the same habits (like snacking in front of the TV), and tend to think alike when it comes to weight. All of these situations can contribute to weight gain, so it can be difficult to figure out if a person is born with a tendency to be obese or


overweight or learns eating and exercise habits that lead to weight gain. Obesity is bad news for both body and mind. Not only does it make a person feel tired and uncomfortable, it can wear down joints and put extra stress on other parts of the body. There can be more serious consequences as well.

Not all obese people are aware of the risks that come along with their current health status. Aside from abnormal respiratory-related conditions, which are inevitable, and kidney malfunctioning where hyper-filtration occurs, and thus, tearing the kidneys apart, which is also a good indication of a disease, cardiovascular disease is also present, though perceived in a different manner.

Maintaining a healthy weight, clean living and staying physically
active are all important in preventing Cardiovascular Diseases.
Some inactive people believe that maintaining a healthy weight is
sufficient to prevent stroke from occurring. Other overweight people think3

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