The Obesity of Middle Age: A Common Variety of Cushing’s Syndrome Due to a Chronic Increase in Adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) and Beta-Endorphin Activity

  • D. L. Margules
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 116)


In 1977, the select committee on nutrition and human needs of the United States Senate held hearings on obesity (HEARINGS, 1977). They concluded that obesity is a killer disease affecting at least 30 million Americans in 197 7. One-half of these people are obese to a degree that shortens life. The frequency of obesity increases substantially with age. One-third of American men and 40% of American women between the ages of 4 0 and 49 are obese. The obese have a substantially reduced life expectancy, a high incidence of diabetes mellitus, gall bladder problems, a high incidence of cardiovascular disease , thin skin that tears easily, a greater likelihood to die from anesthesia, greater susceptibility to infection, greater chances of phlebitis, and a higher likelihood of gout. Many obese individuals have a history of an unsuccessful life struggle to reduce their body weight. Over 10 billion dollars a year are spent in this country for obesity treatments that fail. The few individuals who have some success at weight loss often regain the lost weight. Those rare individuals that succeed in maintaining the weight loss have a life-long battle to prevent relapse of the obese condition (HEARINGS, 197 7).


Adrenal Cortex Obese Mouse Endocrine Pancreas Lean Body Weight Normal Aging Process 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Margules
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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