Causes of obesity

Abdom Imaging. 2012 Oct;37(5):730-2. doi: 10.1007/s00261-012-9862-x.


The prevalence of obesity has been rising steadily over the last several decades and is currently at unprecedented levels: more than 68% of US adults are considered overweight, and 35% are obese (Flegal et al., JAMA 303:235-241, 2010). This increase has occurred across every age, sex, race, and smoking status, and data indicate that segments of individuals in the highest weight categories (i.e., BMI > 40 kg/m(2)) have increased proportionately more than those in lower BMI categories (BMI < 35 kg/m(2)). The dramatic rise in obesity has also occurred in many other countries, and the causes of this increase are not fully understood (Hill and Melanson, Med Sci Sports Exerc 31:S515-S521, 1999).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Body Mass Index
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology