Obesity has been a known problem for over 60 years. As early as 1943, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company declared “Overweight is so common that it constitutes a national health problem of the first order.” In 1952, the American Heart association identified obesity as a cardiac risk factor (AHA, 1952). In 1974, obesity was identified as “the most important nutritional disease in the affluent countries of the world” (LANCET editorial, 1974). Over a few decades, the obesity epidemic has continually been creeping up in all developed countries around the world; this has accelerated rapidly in the last decade, and it appears to have reached a crisis level with unprecedented numbers, particularly in America, joining the overweight or obese categories (Anderson, Konz, Frederich, & Wood, 2001; Mokdad, Serdula, Dietz, Bowman, Marks, Koplan, 1999).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Diet: Total combination of food intake.
Minerals: Naturally occurring substance required by living organisms for a healthy diet.
Nutrition: A science to explain the metabolic and physiological responses of the body to diet.
Chronic Disease Risk: Likelihood of contracting a chronic disease, such as diabetes.
Obesity: Excessively overweight.
Overweight: Above average weight.
Body Mass Index (BMI): A measurement used to identify whether a person is overweight or obese.
PCF: Ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Vitamins: An organic compound required by living organisms.