Obesity Epidemiology Worldwide

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2016 Dec;45(4):571-579. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2016.07.012.


Obesity continues to be a public health concern across the globe. Obesity has a demonstrated association with health behaviors and health outcomes, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Over the past 2 decades, obesity has increased worldwide and remains highest in the United States. It is critical to understand the definition of obesity, using body mass index appropriately, recent estimates, and risk factors as a framework within which clinicians should work to help reduce the burden of obesity. This framework, including the Healthy People 2020 place-based approach to social determinants of health, is described in this article.

Keywords: BMI; Epidemiology; Obesity; Racial/ethnic disparities; Social determinants of health.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Global Health / trends*
  • Humans
  • North America / epidemiology
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors