A Study on the Modeling of Obesity

  • Sung Young LimEmail author
  • Leticia Mucci da Conceição
  • Sergio G. Camorlinga


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of obese people has almost tripled since 1975. In 2016 more than 1.9 billion adults 18 years and older were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese. Overall, 39% of adults were overweight in 2016 and 13% were obese. If these circumstances persist, the financial burden of supporting obese people will place substantial pressures on healthcare expenditures. This is because several diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and others are profoundly affected by obesity. To solve this problem, it is very important to find out what are the causes of obesity. Contrary to most of the previous studies that are focused on one risk factor for obesity, we researched a variety of factors affecting obesity and their interdependencies by employing statistical analysis from a complex adaptive system perspective. Our goal is to use the research outcomes of this analysis to build a computer model for obesity. This model can potentially assist to save some associated costs from obesity by helping to prevent obesity and improve its management.



This work was supported in part by the University of Winnipeg Applied Computer Science Department, Mitacs Globalink program, and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Development Grant.


  1. 1.
    World Health Organization (WHO). Obesity and overweight fact-sheets. WHO Press; 2018. Available from: Accessed 9 Aug 2018.
  2. 2.
    Miller J, Page S. Complex adaptive systems: an introduction to computational models of social life. Princeton studies in complexity. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 2009.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wooldridge M. An introduction to multiagent systems. 2nd ed. Chichester: Wiley; 2009.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bruch E, Atwell J. Agent-based models in empirical social research. Sociol Methods Res. 2015;44(2):186–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Statistics Canada. Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). NESSTAR data portal. Available from: Accessed 9 Aug 2018.
  6. 6.
    Health Statistics Division. Statistic Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey 2014 - Annual Component (CCHS); 2018.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    World Health Organization. Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2014. Geneva: WHO Press; 2014.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mayo Clinic. Obesity. Available from: Accessed 9 Aug 2018.
  9. 9.
    US Department of Health and Human Services. What causes obesity & overweight? Last updated: 2016. Available from: Accessed 9 Aug 2018.
  10. 10.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adult obesity causes & consequences. Last updated: 2018. Available from: Accessed 9 Aug 2018.
  11. 11.
    Remedy Health Media. Risk factors and causes of obesity. Last updated: 2015. Available from: Accessed 9 Aug 2018.
  12. 12.
    Colapinto CK, Graham J, St-Pierre S. Trends and correlates of frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption, 2007 to 2014. Health Rep. 2018;29(1):9–14.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Charlton K, Kowal P, Soriano MM, Williams S, Banks E, Vo K, Byles J. Fruit and vegetable intake and body mass index in a large sample of middle-aged Australian men and women. Nutrients. 2014;6(6):2305–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    French A, Macedo M, Poulsen J, Waterson T, Yu A. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). San Francisco: San Francisco State University; 2008.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    IBM SPSS Statistics. IBM SPSS software. Available from: Accessed 9 Aug 2018.
  16. 16.
    Bewick V, Cheek L, Ball J. Statistics review 7: Correlation and regression. Crit Care. 2003;7(6):451–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pohar M, Blas M, Turk S. Comparison of logistic regression and linear discriminant analysis: a simulation study. Metodoloski Zvezki. 2004;1(1):143–61.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    UCLA: Statistical Consulting Group. Multinomial logistic regression. Available from: Accessed 9 Aug 2018.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung Young Lim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leticia Mucci da Conceição
    • 2
  • Sergio G. Camorlinga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Computer ScienceThe University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of NutritionUniversity of São PauloSão José dos CamposBrazil

Personalised recommendations