Far from a sign of healthy prosperity and contentment, overweight and obesity are now considered high risk factors for a wide range of diseases including early death and disability, heart disease, diabetes, reproductive problems, cancer, breathing problems and arthritis. Obesity, now at epidemic levels in many countries, is defined as an excessively high amount of body fat or adipose tissue in relation to lean body mass. The amount of body fat (or adiposity) includes concern for both the distribution of fat throughout the body and the size of the adipose tissue deposits. This book includes within its scope the causal connection of obesity to diseases as well as the prevention and treatment of obesity. Leading-edge scientific research from throughout the world is presented.