The Epidemic of Obesity

In this article we review the recent trends in overweight and obesity, summarize the lifestyle factors that influence the increasing prevalence of obesity, and discuss the health and economic impact of the obesity epidemic.

Cynthia J. Stein

2004

Scholarcy highlights

  • THE UNITED STATES is experiencing an epidemic of overweight and obesity
  • International data indicate that the epidemic is not isolated to the United States but is a global health problem
  • Physical activity in schools has declined, and almost half of young Americans between the ages of 12 and 21 yr are not vigorously active on a routine basis. The complexities of this relationship are not yet fully understood, the end result is quite clear: the imbalance of energy intake and energy expenditure has resulted in an epidemic of overweight and obesity across the United States
  • Excess weight increases the risk of multiple conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and premature death
  • The prevention and treatment of excess weight is critical for the health of both individuals and our society
  • A variety of approaches can be effective in treating excess weight, and detailed guidelines have been created for providers to help patients with weight management

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