For many years the dangers of obesity have been extensively proclaimed in medical and lay publications. Current concepts regarding the role of fat metabolism in the etiology of cardiovascular disease underline the perils of excessive body weight. Accordingly, a reduction diet is often prescribed by the physician as part of the treatment of a wide range of ills, malnutrition excepted. The admonition—"lose 15 or 20 pounds"—reverberates in the ears of many a portly patient.
Moreover, the desirability of the "streamlined" appearance is insistently stressed by the dictators of high fashion and their talented hucksters. Modern supermarkets feature whole departments devoted to "dietary foods" on behalf of their calorieconscious consumers. It is readily apparent, in the face of this veritatble avalanche of propaganda, that many patients are struggling to reduce their body weight. A considerable proportion of these dieters, during a short-lived period of enthusiastic forbearance, may succeed in losing 15
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