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Obesity is a disease that affects at least 39 million Americans: more than one-quarter of all adults and about one in five children. Some people are more susceptible to obesity than others. Each year, obesity causes at least 300,000 excess deaths in the U.S. and costs the country more than $100 billion.
Obesity is a chronic, metabolic disease caused by multiple and complex inherited and acquired factors, including excessive calorie and food intake, decreased physical activity, and genetic influences. The defining characteristic is excess body fat. Long-term treatment and management are required to achieve and sustain weight loss. Today more than 70 million Americans are overweight. Obesity, particularly when associated with unhealthy patterns of body fat distribution, results in 300,000 preventable deaths each year in the U.S. and $100 billion in health care costs. In the last ten years, the proportion of the population that is obese has increased from 25 percent to 32 percent - a level that may be considered epidemic.
An excess of body fat results from an imbalance between energy intake and energy output (i.e., consuming more calories than are needed to support your body's energy needs). The reasons for this imbalance are unclear, and the relationship between energy intake/expenditure and body fat storage and distribution varies from person to person. Factors that promote obesity include a genetic predisposition, family history of obesity, age behavioral factors (such as a high fat diet and sedentary lifestyle), and biochemical differences (lower metabolic rate or decreased ability to oxidize fat).
A number of conditions worsen as obesity increases and often improve as obesity increases and often improve as obesity is successfully treated. Some of these conditions are:
· Cardiovascular disease
· High blood pressure
· Gallstones
· Type 2 diabetes
· Elevated blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
· Gout
· Sleep...

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