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Obesity, the accumulation of excess body fat, was recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association in June 2013. At that point in time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that the disease affected more than one-third of American adults and nearly 20 percent of American children. To be considered obese, an adult must have a body mass index (BMI)—the ratio of weight in kilograms to height in meters squared—of 30 or more, while a child is considered obese if the BMI of the child is in the 95th percentile for the child’s age and gender. The number of Americans considered obese has grown substantially over the past 30 years, and there are indications that the prevalence of obesity has yet ...

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