Obesity Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Obesity article.

Absorption: Uptake. For example, intestinal absorption is the uptake of food (or other sub...

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Apnea: The absence of breathing (respiration).

Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back in...

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Bariatric: Pertaining to the study, prevention, or treatment of overweight.

Bariatric surgery: Surgery on the stomach and/or intestines to help a person with extrem...

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Bioinformatics: The sum of the computational approaches to analyze, manage, and store biol...

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Biotechnology: The fusion of biology and technology, the application of biological techniq...

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Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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BMI: Body mass index.

Body mass index: A key index for relating weight to height. Abbreviated BMI. BMI is a pers...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breastfeeding: Feeding a child human breast milk. According to the American Academy of Ped...

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Bulimia: Also called bulimia nervosa. An eating disorder characterized by episodes of secr...

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Bypass: An operation in which a new pathway is created for the transport of substances in ...

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Calorie: A unit of food energy. The word calorie is ordinarily used instead of the more pr...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The US agency charged with tracking and invest...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic disease: A disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting...

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Cleft lip: A fissure in the upper lip that is due to failure of the left and right sides o...

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Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaini...

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Colon cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine (the co...

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Cushing syndrome: The constellation of symptoms and signs caused by an excess of cortisol ...

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Dementia: Significant loss of intellectual abilities, such as memory capacity, that is sev...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Diabetes mellitus: Better known just as "diabetes" -- a chronic disease associated with ab...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Digestive system: The system of organs responsible for getting food into and out of the bo...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Dry mouth: The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is due to...

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Endocrinology: The study of the medical aspects of hormones, including diseases and condit...

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Endometrial cancer: Cancer of the womb (the uterus ). Endometrial cancer occurs most often...

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Ephedra: A medicinal herb, known scientifically as Ephedra sinica and Ephedra equisetina, ...

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Epidemic: The occurrence of more cases of a disease than would be expected in a community...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Gallstones: Stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones can be as smal...

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Gastric: Having to do with the stomach.

Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Gout: Condition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, rec...

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HDL: High density lipoprotein.

Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Hemorrhagic: Pertaining to bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Incontinence: The inability to control excretions, to hold urine in the bladder, or to kee...

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Informatics: The application of computers and statistics to the management of information....

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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Internal medicine: The medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment ...

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Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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Jenny Craig: Jenny Craig is a diet program that originated in Australia in 1983 in Austral...

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Knee: The knee is a joint which has three parts. The thigh bone (the femur) meets the lar...

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Liposuction: The surgical suctioning of fat deposits from specific parts of the body, the ...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Marker: A piece of DNA that lies on a chromosome so close to a gene that the marker and t...

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Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. ...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Nutrition: 1) The science or practice of taking in and utilizing foods. 2) A nourishing ...

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Obese: Well above ones normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obe...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

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Osteoarthritis: A type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss ...

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Ovarian: Of or pertaining to the ovary.

Overweight: The term "overweight" is used in two different ways. In one sense it is a way ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Palate: The roof of the mouth. The front portion is bony (hard palate), and the back porti...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Polycystic ovarian syndrome: Abbreviated PCOS. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition ...

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Pound: A measure of weight that is equal to 16 ounces or, metrically, 453.6 grams. Abbrevi...

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Prader-Willi syndrome: A syndrome characterized by severe hypotonia (floppiness), poor suc...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary hypertension: High blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. This elevated blood...

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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Sero...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Sleep apnea: The temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep, often resulting in daytime ...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Taste: A perception that results from stimulation of a gustatory nerve. Taste belongs to t...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Tooth: One of the structures within the mouth that allow for biting and chewing. Teeth hav...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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Weight Watchers: Weight Watchers is a diet plan first developed in the 1960s that encourag...

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