Dr. Thomas C. Namey, MD, FACP, FACR

Nutrition & Obesity

NUTRITION
Good nutrition is necessary for keeping the body functioning normally, maintaining a healthy weight, and preventing disease. If disease develops, good nutrition helps minimize the effects. Further, no two people will have the same nutritional requirements. Our age, gender, color and lifestyle also dictates the overall nutritional requirements of our bodies.

Good nutrition involves consuming a variety of foods in appropriate amounts. No one food provides all the substances the body needs (nutrients) for good health: protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and many others. Consuming enough water is also important. Water is necessary for all of the body's functions, including moving nutrients into cells and removing waste products from cells.

OBESITY
Obesity refers specifically to having too much body fat. It usually also means being very overweight. People may be overweight without being obese. The risk of health problems increases as body fat (and weight) increases. For example, heart disorders, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, some cancers, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea are more common among obese people.

Some people think that being overweight or obese is the opposite of undernutrition, that overweight or obese people are overnourished. However, overweight or obese people may not consume enough of the nutrients needed for good health and may therefore be undernourished. For example, they may not consume enough fiber, vitamins, or minerals.

What's your body mass index (BMI)? Calculate it here.

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