is an urgent and growing global health problem of critical concern. The causes
of this epidemic are complex and multifactorial, but fundamentally lead to an
excess calorie intake and inadequate energy expenditure. Modern lifestyles,
incorporating altered eating patterns, access to cheap, highly palatable,
energy-dense yet nutritionally-poor foods, sedentary life-style and
labour-saving devices which reduce physical activity have hugely accelerated
the problem during the latter part of the 20thcentury. Obesity is a complex
condition, with serious social and psychological dimensions, affecting
virtually all ages and socioeconomic groups . The health consequences range
from increased risk of premature death, to serious chronic conditions that
reduce the overall quality of life. Of special concern is the increasing
incidence of childhood obesity. The literature has been extensively reviewed to
give an overview of the causes, the health problems associated with this
disorder, the mode of assessment of the degree of obesity, its consequences,
various methods of managing obesity with particular emphasis on dieting, exercise
and the possible use of drugs (anorexiants) as well as surgery.
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