Sunday, January 15, 2006

obesity

Obesity is a condition resulting from an abnormal increase of fat in the subcutaneous connective tissues. It results when caloric intake greatly exceeds energy expenditure. Obesity contributes to increased mortality from various diseases. Although the elderly are less affected than those at younger ages, obesity is a common problem in older individuals.
Diseases closely affected by obesity include HYPERTENSION, coronary artery disease, pulmonary abnormalities, DIABETES MELLITUS, and OSTEOARTHRITIS.
Treatment of obesity is generally unsatisfactory and discouraging to the patient but attempts at control should be continued because of its known positive effects on health and longevity. The various types of therapy include dietary manipulation, behavior modification, exercise therapy, surgical procedures, medication, and drugs used to inhibit starch absorption or to simulate the taste of fat without caloric content.
Attempting to change a lifetime of habits in the elderly is extremely difficult and may, in part, account for the poor results. An understanding, sympathetic approach by the physician is important in helping the patient deal with this frustrating disorder.
Covington, T., and Walker, J. Current Geriatric Therapy. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1984.

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