Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 363–370 | Cite as

Overweight and Obesity: Prevalence, Consequences, and Causes of a Growing Public Health Problem

  • Ellen P. Williams
  • Marie Mesidor
  • Karen Winters
  • Patricia M. Dubbert
  • Sharon B. Wyatt
The Obesity Epidemic: Causes and Consequences (A Peeters and S Tanamas, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on The Obesity Epidemic: Causes and Consequences


This review considers a variety of perspectives on overweight and obesity (OW/obesity), including measurement and classification; prevalence and changes in prevalence in recent years; genetic, biological, medical, individual, and social correlates of OW/obesity; and treatment approaches. Despite increased attention, OW/obesity is escalating in prevalence worldwide, and the causes are exceedingly complex. A range of innovative studies, including basic research on gut microflora, dietary composition, pharmacologic interventions, and surgical procedures, is generating findings with potential for future prevention and treatment of OW/obesity. Social system changes such as school programs and the awareness of the roles of personal, family, health provider, and cultural experiences related to OW/obesity have also gained traction for vital prevention and treatment efforts over the past decade.


Obesity Overweight Trends Treatment 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Ellen P. Williams, Marie Mesidor, Karen Winters, Patricia M. Dubbert, and Sharon B. Wyatt declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen P. Williams
    • 1
  • Marie Mesidor
    • 2
  • Karen Winters
    • 1
  • Patricia M. Dubbert
    • 3
  • Sharon B. Wyatt
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA
  2. 2.Health Promotion & Disease Prevention ProgramCentral Arkansas Veterans Healthcare SystemLittle RockUSA
  3. 3.South Central Veterans Affairs Mental Illness Research, Education & Clinical Center, Little Rock Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical CenterUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesNorth Little RockUSA

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