This book is the outgrowth of a multiauthored symposium on nutrition held at Columbia University in December 1973. The editor, Myron Winick, professor of nutrition and pediatrics at Columbia, provides a useful introductory overview summarizing the four general topics discussed at the conference: (1) cellular changes; (2) obesity during critical periods of growth; (3) early nutrition and lipid metabolism; and (4) control of childhood obesity.
In the first section, Hirsch of Rockefeller University succinctly summarizes his earlier work on cell number and cell size in obese adults before and after weight reduction. He discusses the now familiar hypothesis that obesity may be accompanied by an excessive number of adipocytes, possibly brought about by excess feeding in infancy and childhood, and that the excessive number of adipocytes remains constant and in some way causes a drive for maintaining the obese state. He points out a critical methodological problem in that only