Obesity is the condition of being overweight. The specific definition of obesity may vary depending on source, but is frequently characterized by individuals who are at least 20 percent above their ideal body weight, based on age and height. Obesity has been linked with medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, and coronary heart disease. Worldwide, the number of obese people continues to rise.

Historically, obesity was an uncommon feature of social life. Through much of human history the primary dietary concern was the pursuit of adequate nutrition. In preindustrial environments obtaining and/or growing food was a difficult endeavor. In some societies in the past, being overweight or obese served as a marker of status; the ability of an individual to obtain high-caloric and ...

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