Obesity wars: molecular progress confronts an expanding epidemic

Cell. 2004 Jan 23;116(2):337-50. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(03)01081-x.


The worldwide prevalence of obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, with major adverse consequences for human health. This "obesity epidemic" is paralleled by a rapid and substantive increase in our understanding of molecular pathways and physiologic systems underlying the regulation of energy balance. While efforts to address the environmental factors that are responsible for the recent "epidemic" must continue, new molecular and physiologic insights into this system offer exciting possibilities for future development of successful therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiology
  • Digestive System
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Hormones / physiology
  • Leptin / physiology
  • Melanins / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Pituitary Hormones / physiology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology
  • Receptors, Leptin


  • Hypothalamic Hormones
  • Leptin
  • Melanins
  • Pituitary Hormones
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Leptin
  • melanin-concentrating hormone