Useful Definitions

Metabolism

Metabolism

Metabolism, «muh TAB uh lihz uhm», is the sum of the chemical processes by which cells produce the materials and energy necessary for life. Metabolism has two phases: (1) anabolism, or constructive metabolism, during which cells combine molecules to assemble new organic materials, and (2) catabolism, or destructive metabolism, during which cells break down molecules to obtain energy and release heat. All organisms conduct both…

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Obesity

Obesity

Obesity, «oh BEE suh tee», is the condition of having an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity increases a person’s risk for many conditions and diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), arthritis, and cancer. Physicians typically use a simple, inexpensively obtained measurement called the body mass index (BMI) to determine if a person is overweight or obese. The body mass index represents…

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Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder

Eating disorder is a term used to describe illnesses characterized by a disturbance in attitudes and behaviors relating to eating, body weight, and body image. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa (commonly referred to as bulimia), binge-eating disorder (BED), and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). People with anorexia nervosa are underweight and usually restrict their eating. Many have severe weight loss. Individuals with…

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