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Modest Weight Gain and the Development of Diabetes: Another Perspective

James R. Sowers, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201 Requests for Reprints: James R. Sowers, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Hypertension, Wayne State University School of Medicine, UHC-4H, 4201 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48201.


Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1995;122(7):548-549. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-122-7-199504010-00012
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Significant obesity is associated with metabolic abnormalities that are considered to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including impaired glucose tolerance and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and an abnormal lipoprotein profile [13]. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel [4] concluded in 1985 that “the evidence is now overwhelming that obesity, defined as excessive storage of energy in the form of fat, has adverse effects on health and longevity.” If obesity is defined as a body mass index of 20% above the desirable index (roughly a body mass index of 27 kg/m2), approximately 34 million adult Americans can be considered obese [5]. Nevertheless, the 1990 guidelines of recommended weights for adults published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture [6] suggests that a weight gain of 7 kg for persons 35 years and older is desirable. The article by Colditz and colleagues [7] in this issue raises serious questions about such recommendations.

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