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Special Article
April 10, 2000

Overweight, Obesity, and Health Risk

National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity
Author Affiliations

From the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Md. Drs Hill, Wadden, and Wilson serve as consultants and/or on the Speakers Bureaus of Knoll Pharmaceutical Company, Mount Olive, NJ, and Roche Laboratories, Nutley, NJ, manufacturers of weight-loss medications. Drs Weinsier and Stern are members of the Weight Watchers Scientific Advisory Board, Weight Watchers International, Woodbury, NY. Dr Wing receives research project support from Roche Laboratories. Dr Rolls has served as a consultant to and/or received research project support from Amgen, Thousands Oaks, Calif; Knoll Pharmaceutical Company; Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Collegeville, Pa; Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Ross Products–Abbott Laboratories, Columbus, Ohio. Dr Pi-Sunyer has consulted for and/or received research project support from Knoll Pharmaceuticals; Roche Laboratories; Eli Lilly, Indianapolis, Ind; Amgen; Genentech, South San Francisco, Calif; and Parke-Davis, Morris Plains, NJ.

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(7):898-904. doi:10.1001/archinte.160.7.898

More than half of adult Americans are overweight or obese, and public health recommendations call for weight loss in those who are overweight with associated medical conditions or who are obese. However, some controversy exists in the lay press and in the medical literature about the health risks of obesity. We review briefly the large body of evidence indicating that higher levels of body weight and body fat are associated with an increased risk for the development of numerous adverse health consequences. Efforts to prevent further weight gain in adults at risk for overweight and obesity are essential. For those whose present or future health is at risk because of their obesity and who are motivated to make lifestyle changes, a recommendation for weight loss is appropriate.

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