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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;57 Suppl 1:S94-6.

Role of prevention in the contention of the obesity epidemic.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Hospital Universitario de La Princesa, Madrid, Spain.


Obesity has become one of the major health burdens of the westernized world with an increasing number of people affected at any age. Although genetic factors explain around 40% of individual susceptibility to the disease, obesity may and should be controlled through interventions on the individual behaviour and on the social environment. Very promising to this aim is the role of prevention. Several levels of action have been established as well as different types of interventions according to the targeted population. Of special importance is the contention of childhood obesity with home and school as privileged settings for intervention. Despite a general acknowledging of the urgency for effective preventive measures at social, economic and political level to contrast the increasing prevalence of obesity, no clear nationwide policies have yet been established, and the educational and public health measures adopted so far lack that coordination and integration that the magnitude of the situation requires.

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