Editorials

Population strategies to prevent obesity

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7367.728 (Published 05 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:728

Only few studies attempted so far and with limited success

  1. David Crawford, associate professor (dcraw@deakin.edu.au)
  1. Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Deakin University Burwood, Victoria 3125 Australia

    Clinical reviewp 757

    It has been accepted for some time that obesity is associated with an increased risk of disease and disability, and that this condition needs to be managed more effectively in obese individuals. Only recently, however, has obesity been recognised as a population wide problem that requires preventive action. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in most developed countries. In England, the United States, and Australia more than a half of all adults are overweight or obese, and trend data show a dramatic increase in prevalence over the past two decades.13 What then are the causes of the obesity epidemic, and what can be done to prevent it?

    Genes determine individual susceptibility to weight gain, but the obesity epidemic is not attributable to genetic factors, since the increase in the prevalence of obesity has occurred over too short a period for the genetic make up of the population to have changed substantially.4 According to a recent review …

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