April 5, 2006

Excessive Adiposity, Calorie Restriction, and Aging

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Sciences and Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo, and the Division of Food Science, Human Nutrition and Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanitá, Rome, Italy.

JAMA. 2006;295(13):1577-1578. doi:10.1001/jama.295.13.1577

Obesity is a major public health problem. As reported by Ogden et al1 in this issue of JAMA, results of the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate that an estimated 66% of US adults are overweight or obese, and 17% of US children are overweight. In the authors' analysis of NHANES data from 1999-2004, they found an increasing prevalence of overweight in children (ages 2-19 years) and an increasing prevalence of obesity in men, but not women; however, women had nearly double the rate of severe obesity compared with men. Excessive adiposity is a serious problem, and is associated with insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, low-grade inflammation, and changes in levels of growth factor and other hormones that play a role in the development of diabetes, atherosclerosis, and some types of cancer.2,3 Furthermore, evidence is accumulating that adiposity is associated with accelerated aging.24

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