Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 16–37 | Cite as

Etiology of Obesity Over the Life Span: Ecological and Genetic Highlights from Asian Countries

  • Pei Nee Chong
  • Christinal Pey Wen Teh
  • Bee Koon Poh
  • Mohd Ismail Noor
Etiology of Obesity (MS Westerterp-Plantenga, Section Editor)


Obesity is a worldwide pandemic, and the prevalence rate has doubled since the 1980s. Asian countries are also experiencing the global epidemic of obesity with its related health consequences. The prevalence of overweight and obesity are increasing at an alarming rate across all age groups in Asia. These increases are mainly attributed to rapid economic growth, which leads to socio-economic, nutrition and lifestyle transitions, resulting in a positive energy balance. In addition, fat mass and obesity-associated gene variants, copy number variants in chromosomes and epigenetic modifications have shown positive associations with the risk of obesity among Asians. In this review highlights of prevalence and related ecological and genetic factors that could influence the rapid rise in obesity among Asian populations are discussed.


Adolescents Adults Asia Children Ecology Elderly Epigenetics Etiology Genetic variants Nutrition transition Overweight Obesity Physical activity Prevalence Socio-economy 


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pei Nee Chong
    • 1
  • Christinal Pey Wen Teh
    • 2
  • Bee Koon Poh
    • 1
  • Mohd Ismail Noor
    • 3
  1. 1.Nutritional Sciences Programme, School of Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.UKM Medical Molecular Biology InstituteUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaCherasMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health SciencesMARA University of TechnologyPuncak AlamMalaysia

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