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January 4, 1936


JAMA. 1936;106(1):44-45. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770010046013

Few conditions induce as much chronic psychologic and physical invalidity as obesity. In borderline cases what constitutes excessive accumulation of depot fat is partly decided by individual taste and partly by the dictates of fashion.

The energy requirement of the body, according to a discussion by Lambie,1 is the amount of energy necessary to cover the basal metabolism, the bodily activity and the specific dynamic action of food. It is the balance of the sum of these against the intake of fat sources that in the majority of instances directs the storage of fat in the body. The factor of greatest magnitude on the expenditure side is the basal metabolism. True, obesity is compatible in spite of this fact with lowered, normal or increased metabolism. The amount of energy consumed in exercise is relatively small; a man weighing 70 Kg., in an hour's walk covering 2 1/2 miles, would

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