Phytonutrients & Nutritional Interventions to Support a Healthy Body Weight & Composition

It is the holiday season, a time for food and festivity. It is also that time of the year when it becomes all too easy to pack on those pounds and join the growing ranks of the overweight and obese. This paper presents selected clinically tested dietary interventions which when combined with a healthy lifestyle, support a healthy body weight and composition. Obesity is not a new problem – Paleolithic artists depicted obese figurines over 25,000 years ago! Obesity is however now described as a global epidemic, and overweight and obese individuals (Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 and above) are at increased risk for chronic physical ailments.

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Some of the health problems caused by obesity include predisposing one to diabetes mellitus type 2, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and atherosclerosis. Other diseases that are correlated with obesity include polycystic ovarian syndrome, menstrual disorders, infertility, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, renal failure, osteoarthritis, and a number of other serious ailments (Esposito, et al. 2004; Ejerblad, et al. 2006; Whitmer, et al.; 2005). Certain psychological issues also arise in the obese person such as depression, low self esteem, body dysmorphic disorder, and social stigmatization.

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