Authors: Vasanti Malik, Frank Hu
Once considered a problem only in high-income countries, obesity has become a major contributor to the global disease burden (Finucane 2011; Misra and Khurana 2008). Excess adiposity particularly around the subcutaneous abdominal region is an important risk factor for morbidity and mortality from type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers (Danaei and others 2005; Whitlock and others 2009; WHO 2009). Although some studies have suggested lower mortality among overweight or obese persons than among healthy-weight persons (Carnethon and others 2009), this has not been observed in studies that properly account for the confounding effects of smoking and other biases (Tobias, Pan, and Fu 2014). The costs of obesity and comorbidities are staggering in terms of both health care expenditures and quality of life, underscoring the importance of implementing obesity prevention strategies on a global scale.