Are You Hungry? by Kathleen McGowan.  Discover September 2002, pp. 23-24.

When you have completed study of this article, you should be able to:

1. give everyday definitions of the following terms:

Prader-Willi syndrome syndrome
metabolism genes
neurochemicals neurobiology
dopamine opioids
hormones feedback systems
pediatric endocrinologist hypothalamus
hyperactive leptin
gherlin neuropeptide Y (PYY-3-36)
insulin cholecystokinin (CCK)

2.    have a basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of a normally functioning human digestive system.

3.    give examples of how we have evolved to have preferences for some food items (sweet, salty, fatty) and distastes for others (bitter, sour).

4.    reconstruct the sequence of events which cause us to be hungry, eat, and feel full.

5.    explain how the normal sequence of eating events is disrupted by Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement based on height and weight as it relates to body fat, and can be used to determine how much risk a person has of developing certain health problems because of his or her weight. As a point of reference, someone with a BMI of 27 is approximately 20 percent overweight. The higher the BMI, the greater the risk a person has to develop additional health problems.

BMI Table

Less than 18.5

Normal 18.5 -- 24.9
Overweight 25 -- 29.9
Obesity I 30 -- 34.9
Obesity II 35 -- 39.9
Extremely Obese III 40 and over

Links to more information:

Prader-Willi Syndrome Association

Cracking the Fat Riddle, by J. Madeline Nash.  Time Magazine, September 2, 2002.  pp 47-55.