Obesity is perhaps the most pervasive and overlooked medical threat in the country. Approximately 66 percent of American adults are overweight; about half of these defined clinically as obese. And the statistics for children are equally sobering. Nearly one in four white children and one in three African American and Hispanic children are estimated to be overweight. What makes obesity a disease instead of just a matter of overeating? What are the genetic and environmental factors behind obesity? What breakthroughs are being developed to combat it? This volume looks at these and other important questions, clearing away misconceptions about this condition. It is an overview of the history, prevention, treatment, causes, and consequences of obesity. It explains what scientists now know about the causes and consequences of being overweight, including the latest on the links between obesity and heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, asthma, and sleep difficulties. The book pays specific attention to the problem among obese young people, who more and more are being diagnosed with chronic illnesses that used to only be seen in adults. It also reports on promising efforts to battle obesity, from medical treatments to community awareness programs.
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