Obesity Prevention

Shiriki K. Kumanyika

in Public Health

ISBN: 9780199756797
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:
Obesity Prevention


Obesity reflects a physiologically harmful excess of body fat, overall or accumulated in specific parts of the body. The obesity “epidemic” is characterized by trends that show increases in average body weight levels in populations at large and the consequent increases in the proportions of these populations whose weight levels fall into the upper part of the weight status distribution and who, therefore, meet the criteria for “overweight” or “obesity.” The significance of overweight and obesity relates to the associated increased risk for chronic diseases or risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, certain types of cancer, respiratory diseases, and musculoskeletal diseases, together with their disabling or fatal consequences. Obesity issues are, therefore, an important subset of a much larger set of issues related to the increasing dominance of chronic diseases not only in high-income countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom, but also in low- and middle-income countries. Like obesity treatment, the target of obesity prevention involves a balance of energy intake (from foods and beverages) and energy output (through various types of physical activity). In light of higher obesity prevalence rates, specific strategies to prevent the development of clinically significant overweight and obesity have been articulated separately from strategies to treat established obesity. This article takes a multidisciplinary perspective to identify books, scientific journals, evidence reviews, practice guidelines, and other resources relevant to understanding obesity prevention. Citations include resources that explain obesity prevention concepts and the social, economic, and public policy contexts for undertaking obesity prevention, highlighting controversies, and providing guidance on the evidentiary and methodological underpinnings for planning and evaluating interventions.

Article.  14535 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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