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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 Mar;7(3):765-83. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7030765. Epub 2010 Feb 26.

Prevention of overweight and obesity: how effective is the current public health approach.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine & Therapeutics, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. ruthchansm@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

Obesity is a public health problem that has become epidemic worldwide. Substantial literature has emerged to show that overweight and obesity are major causes of co-morbidities, including type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, various cancers and other health problems, which can lead to further morbidity and mortality. The related health care costs are also substantial. Therefore, a public health approach to develop population-based strategies for the prevention of excess weight gain is of great importance. However, public health intervention programs have had limited success in tackling the rising prevalence of obesity. This paper reviews the definition of overweight and obesity and the variations with age and ethnicity; health consequences and factors contributing to the development of obesity; and critically reviews the effectiveness of current public health strategies for risk factor reduction and obesity prevention.

KEYWORDS:

obesity; prevention; public health

PMID:
20617002
PMCID:
PMC2872299
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph7030765
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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