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Heart. May 2003; 89(Suppl 2): ii22–ii24.
PMCID: PMC1876296

The obesity epidemic: can we turn the tide?


Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the UK. It is important because of the associated co-morbidities, which include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoarthritis. The prevalence of obesity has increased because of a combination of excessive calorific intake (for example, from increased intake of energy dense foods) and insufficient energy expenditure (associated with a sedentary lifestyle). Weight loss of 5–10%, which can be achieved in primary care, is associated with significant health benefits. Obesity treatment in primary care includes lifestyle modification and drug treatment. The prevention and treatment of obesity cannot, however, be left solely to health professionals. Action is needed by government, the food industry, and society as a whole.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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Figures and Tables

Figure 1
Physical effects of obesity.
Figure 2
Relative risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction and fatal coronary heart disease (combined) versus body mass index (BMI) in women with no previous coronary heart disease. Adapted from Willett et al,6 with permission.
Figure 3
Relative risk of type 2 diabetes in men. Adapted from Chan et al,7 with permission.

Articles from Heart are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


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