Weight Loss Glossary of Terms

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

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

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Aerobic: Oxygen-requiring. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen to grow. Aerobic exercise requires...

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Aerobic exercise: Brisk exercise that promotes the circulation of oxygen through the blood...

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

Apnea: The absence of breathing (respiration).

Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Atkins diet: A high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet popularized by Dr...

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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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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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Boil: A skin abscess that forms at a hair follicle infected with pus-forming bacteria. The...

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

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Breadbasket: A popular term for the stomach.

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

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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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Carbohydrate: One of the three nutrient compounds, along with fat and protein, used as ene...

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Carbohydrates: Mainly sugars and starches, together constituting one of the three principa...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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

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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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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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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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Coronary artery disease: Impedance or blockage of one or more arteries that supply blood t...

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Cuts: Severed skin. Washing a cut or scrape with soap and water and keeping it clean and d...

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Dehydration: Excessive loss of body water. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that ca...

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

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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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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Fasting: : going without food or drink. Patients may be advised to fast for a certain peri...

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Fats: Plural of the word "fat". See the definition of fat.

FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fiber: The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Fiber is of vital impor...

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Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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

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Garlic: A perennial herb of the lily family cultivated for its pungent, edible bulbs. Garl...

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Ginger: Ginger, the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, has been used as medicine in...

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Gonadotropin: Hormones that are secreted by the pituitary gland, and that affect the func...

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HCG: Human chorionic gonadotropin.

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

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Human chorionic gonadotropin: (hCG) A human hormone made by chorionic cells in the fetal ...

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Hypothalamus: The area of the brain that secretes substances that influence pituitary and ...

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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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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Kilocalorie: The term used to represent the amount of energy required to raise the tempera...

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Leptin: A hormone produced mainly by adipocytes (fat cells) that is involved in the regula...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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

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Meditation: A typically self-directed practice for relaxing the body and calming the mind....

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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.

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

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Osteoporosis: Thinning of the bones, with reduction in bone mass, due to depletion of calc...

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Ounce: A measure of weight equal to 1/16th of a pound or, metrically, 28.35 gra...

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

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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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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Perspiration: 1) The secretion of fluid by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. These small, ...

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

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

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

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

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Prostate: A gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the blad...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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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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Saturated fat: A fat that contains only saturated fatty acids, is solid at room temperatur...

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

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Serving size: 1. The portion of food used as a reference on the nutrition label of ...

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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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Strain: 1. An injury to a tendon or muscle resulting from overuse or trauma. 2. A heredita...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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

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

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

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Tired: A feeling of a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of accomplishment,...

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

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Triglycerides: The major form of fat stored by the body. A triglyceride consists of three ...

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Water retention: A nonspecific term meaning the accumulation of excess fluids in body tiss...

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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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Yogurt: A common dish made of milk curdled and fermented with a culture of Lactobacillus (...

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Medical Dictionary