Obesity: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutics

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Sep 6:12:706978. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.706978. eCollection 2021.


Obesity is a complex multifactorial disease that accumulated excess body fat leads to negative effects on health. Obesity continues to accelerate resulting in an unprecedented epidemic that shows no significant signs of slowing down any time soon. Raised body mass index (BMI) is a risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and musculoskeletal disorders, resulting in dramatic decrease of life quality and expectancy. The main cause of obesity is long-term energy imbalance between consumed calories and expended calories. Here, we explore the biological mechanisms of obesity with the aim of providing actionable treatment strategies to achieve a healthy body weight from nature to nurture. This review summarizes the global trends in obesity with a special focus on the pathogenesis of obesity from genetic factors to epigenetic factors, from social environmental factors to microenvironment factors. Against this background, we discuss several possible intervention strategies to minimize BMI.

Keywords: epidemiology; epigenetics; genetics; microenvironment; obesity; pathophysiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Animals
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Weight*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Risk Factors