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Definition: Dieting and Weight Loss

Weight loss, in the context of medicine or health or physical fitness, is a reduction of the total body weight, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon and other connective tissue.

It can occur unintentionally due to an underlying disease or can come about through conscious effort to improve an overweight or obese state.

Weight loss refers to the loss of total body mass in an effort to improve fitness, health, and/or appearance.

Therapeutic weight loss, in individuals who are overweight or obese, can decrease the likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancer.

Weight loss occurs when an individual is in a state of negative energy balance. When the human body is spending more energy in work and heat than it is gaining from food or other nutritional supplements, it will use stored reserves of fat or muscle.

It is not uncommon for some people who are currently at their ideal body weight to seek additional weight loss in order to improve athletic performance, and/or meet required weight classification for participation in a sport. However, others may be driven by achieving a more attractive body image. Consequently, being underweight is associated with health risks such as difficulty fighting off infection, osteoporosis, decreased muscle strength, trouble regulating body temperature and even increased risk of death.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia © 2001-2006 Wikipedia Contributors (Disclaimer)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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