The reduction of obesity is an important therapeutic task, not so much when considered in the light of a tribute to the vanity of the afflicted, but when regarded as a necessary step toward removing adipose tissue that is producing disagreeable or dangerous complications about important organs, notably the heart and arteries, the bronchi, the digestive apparatus and the nervous system. It will often be found that these complications only disappear when the fat is reduced. We see here similar conditions as in diabetes, where, too, many of the complications rapidly disappear when the sugar is reduced; whereas in diabetes, however, the causes that determine these complications are chemical, in obesity they are mechanical in character.
The methods at our disposal for reducing obesity are chiefly dietetic. Second in importance is the regulation of the muscular exercise. These two means, singly or combined, usually suffice to accomplish the desired purpose,