See also:condition of the animal
See also:body characterized by the over-accumulation of
See also:fat under the skin and around certain of the
See also:organs . In all healthy persons a greater or less amount of fat is
See also:present in these parts, and serves important physiological ends, besides contributing to the proper configuration of the body (see
See also:NUTRITION) . Even a considerable measure of fatness, however inconvenient, is not inconsistent with a high degree of
See also:health and activity, and it is only when in
See also:great excess or rapidly increasing that it can be regarded as a pathological state (see METABOLIC DISEASES) . The extent to which excess of fat may proceed is illustrated by numerous well-authenticated examples recorded in medical
See also:works, of which only a few can be here mentioned . Thus Bright, a
See also:grocer of
See also:Maldon, in
See also:Essex, who died in 1750, in his twenty-ninth
See also:year, weighed 616 lb . Dr F . Dancel (Traite de l'obesite,
See also:Paris, 1863) records the case of a
See also:young man of twenty-two, who died from excessive obesity, weighing 643 lb . In the Philosophical Transactions for 1813 a case is recorded of a girl of four years of age who weighed 256 lb . But the most celebrated case is that of Daniel
See also:Lambert (q.v.) of
See also:Leicester, who died in 1809 in his fortieth year . He is said to have been the heaviest man that ever lived, his
See also:weight being 739 lb (52 St . II lb) . Health cannot be long maintained under excessive obesity, for the increase in bulk of the body, rendering exercise more difficult, leads to relaxation and defective nutrition of muscle, while the accumulations of fat in the chest and
See also:abdomen occasion serious embarrassment to the functions of the various organs in those cavities .
See also:mental activity of the highly corpulent becomes impaired, although there have always been many notable exceptions to this
See also:rule . Various causes are assigned for the production of corpulence (see METABOLIC DISEASES) . In some families there exists an hereditary predisposition to an obese
See also:habit of body, the manifestation of which no precautions as to living appear capable of averting . But it is unquestionable that certain habits favour the occurrence of corpulence . A luxurious, inactive, or sedentary
See also:life, with over-indulgence in sleep and
See also:absence of mental occupation, are well recognized predisposing causes . The more immediate exciting causes are over-feeding and the large use of fluids of any kind, but especially alcoholic liquors . Fat persons are not always great eaters, though many of them are, while leanness and inordinate appetite are not infrequently associated . Still, it may be stated generally that indulgence in
See also:food, beyond what is requisite to repair daily waste, goes towards the increase of flesh, particularly of fat . This is more especially the case when the non-nitrogenous (the fatty, saccharine and starchy) elements of the food are in excess . The want of adequate bodily exercise will in a similar manner produce a like effect, and it is probable that many cases of corpulence are to be ascribed to this cause alone, from the well-known facts that many persons of sedentary occupation become stout, although of most abstemious habits, and that obesity frequently comes on in the
See also:middle-aged and old, who take relatively less exercise than the young, in whom it is comparatively rare .
See also:Women are more prone to become corpulent than men, and appear to take on this condition more readily after the cessation of the
See also:function of menstruation . For the prevention of corpulence and the reduction of superfluous fat many expedients have been resorted to, and numerous remedies recommended .
These have included bleeding, blistering, purging, starving (see
See also:FASTING), the use of different kinds of
See also:baths, and of drugs innumerable . The drinking of
See also:vinegar was long popularly, but erroneously, supposed to be a remedy for obesity . It is related of the
See also:marquis of
See also:Cortona, a noted general of the duke of Alva, that by drinking vinegar he so reduced his body from a condition of enormous obesity that he could
See also:fold his skin about him like a garment . In 1863 a pamphlet entitled "
See also:Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public by
See also:William Banting," in which was narrated the remarkable experience of the writer in accomplishing the reduction of his own weight in a
See also:short space of
See also:time by the adoption of a particular kind of
See also:diet, started the
See also:modern dietetic treatment, at first called " Banting " after the author . After trying almost every known remedy without effect, Banting was induced, on the
See also:suggestion of Mr
See also:Harvey, a
See also:London aurist, to place himself upon an entirely new
See also:form of diet, which consisted chiefly in the removal, as far as possible, of all saccharine, starchy and fat food, the reduction of liquids, and the substitution of
See also:meat or
See also:fish and fruit in moderate quantity at each
See also:meal, together with the daily use of an antacid
See also:draught . Under this regimen his weight was reduced 46 lb in the course of a few
See also:weeks, while his health underwent a marked improvement . His experience, as might have been expected, induced many to follow his example; and since then various regimens have been propounded, all aiming at treating corpulence on modern physiological principles (see also
See also:DIETETICS, METABOLIC DISEASES and NUTRITION) . It iS important, however, to bear in mind that the treatment should be followed under medical advice and observation; for, however desirable it be to get rid of superabundant fat, it would be manifestly no gain were this to be achieved by the sacrifice of the general health .
CORPSE (Lat. corpus, the body)
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