Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner


  • Chad D. Jensen
  • Amy F. Sato
  • Elissa Jelalian
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_765



The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically in the USA and worldwide over the past 30 years. Obesity and its consequences represent a significant public and individual health concern. Generally, obesity results when there is a sustained energy imbalance such that caloric intake (i.e., through food and beverages) exceeds caloric output (i.e., body functions, physical activity). In adults, obesity is defined as a body mass index (kg/m2) of 30 or higher and overweight is defined as a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9. In children and adolescents, obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for age and gender, and overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile. Current estimates suggest that 32% of men and 35% of women in the USA meet criteria for obesity (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden, & Curtin, 2010). Similarly, almost 17% of US children and adolescents (ages 2–19) are obese and 32% of youth are either overweight or obese (Ogden,...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chad D. Jensen
    • 1
  • Amy F. Sato
    • 2
  • Elissa Jelalian
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyKent State UniversityKentUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryRhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical SchoolProvidenceUSA