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April 1958

Obesity: Its Cause, Classification, and Care.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;101(4):844. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260160168032

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At first glance one is tempted to ridicule the subtitle of this book, since the cause and treatment of obesity seem obvious. On closer examination, however, it becomes apparent that the authors have carefully classified obesity in all of its manifestations. They discuss several methods for estimating the degree of fatness of a patient and the metabolic processes that result in deposition of adipose tissue.

In the chapter on the classification of obesity they discuss such terms as "nervous obesity, endocrine obesity, hereditary obesity, and habit obesity." They rightly surmised that no classification is wholly satisfactory.

In discussing the factors which regulate the appetite and secondarily the amount of food ingested, they conclude that this regulation is "exceedingly complicated." Etiologic factors are discussed in somewhat greater detail. With the exception of the rare patient who truly has an endocrine problem, these can be summed up by describing the various classifications

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