Understanding Childhood Obesity

By J. Clinton Smith | Go to book overview

8.
The Great Beyond:
New Frontiers in the
Treatment of Obesity

Not only do people differ metabolically from rats, they also differ quite a lot from other people.

Professor J. S. Garrow, Obesity and Related Diseases

Although the title of this book is Understanding Childhood Obesity, it is probably apparent by now that obesity is a complex condition that no one fully understands. In the previous chapters we have become acquainted with areas that hold the most promise for further research; the possible reasons for the dramatic increase of obesity in Americans over the past 35 years; the psychologic and physiologic factors surrounding food intake; how food is digested, absorbed, and assimilated into various cells of our bodies in a usable form; how energy is released by the combustion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and how factors such as insulin influence energy utilization; and the ways in which we try to prevent obesity or to treat it when efforts at prevention have failed. We have learned about energy balance and how it is measured and about genetic and environmental determinants of obesity.

And yet, for each explanation offered, many new and unanswered questions appear. Fortunately, curiosity is a trait found generally in human beings and particularly in scientists. I believe that human curiosity about obesity will eventually lead

-122-

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Understanding Childhood Obesity
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Understanding Childhood Obesity 1
  • 1. - Why is Obesity an Important Health Problem in America? 3
  • 2. - Who is Obese, and How Do We Know? 17
  • 3. - How Our Bodies Obtain Energy 33
  • 4. - Obesity: a Disorder of Energy 50
  • 5. - Some Factors That May Determine Obesity 64
  • 6. - What Can Be Done to Prevent Childhood Obesity? 81
  • 7. - If Prevention Doesn't Work 99
  • 8. - The Great Beyond: New Frontiers in the Treatment of Obesity 122
  • Notes 131
  • Glossary 135
  • References 140
  • Index 149
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