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Obes Res. 2002 Dec;10 Suppl 2:97S-104S.

The obesity epidemic: pathophysiology and consequences of obesity.

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Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, New York Obesity Research Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York 10025, USA.


Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States: more than 20% of adults are clinically obese as defined by a body mass index of 30 kg/m(2) or higher, and an additional 30% are overweight. Environmental, behavioral, and genetic factors have been shown to contribute to the development of obesity. Elevated body mass index, particularly caused by abdominal or upper-body obesity, has been associated with a number of diseases and metabolic abnormalities, many of which have high morbidity and mortality. These include hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, gallbladder disease, and certain malignancies. This underscores the importance of identifying people at risk for obesity and its related disease states.

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