Intended for non-US health care professionals


Samuel's BMI is 40

Definition of obesity

Obesity is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health1

Professional associations have recognised obesity as a global health challenge requiring a "chronic disease management model"1–6

World Health Organization (WHO)

"Obesity is a chronic disease, prevalent in both developed and developing countries, and affecting children as well as adults"1

The Obesity Society (TOS)

It is the official position of The Obesity Society that obesity should be declared a disease.5

American Medical Association (AMA)

"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans"3

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)

"...obesity is a primary disease, and the full force of our medical knowledge should be brought to bear on the prevention and treatment of obesity as a primary disease entitity"4

World Obesity Federation (WOF)

"Obesity is a chronic, relapsing and progressive disease process"2

There is a need for immediate action to prevent and control the obesity epidemic.2 By recognising obesity as a disease, greater action can be taken to prevent its various comorbidities and to combat the harmful stigma surrounding it.2

It's time to treat obesity seriously and provide sufficient time for efforts at prevention, and treatment, to work.2

Obesity is considered a global pandemic9

The global prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 19809

In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults aged ≥18 were overweight. Of these, 32% were obese9

  • Female
  • Male

Obesity is associated with multiple comorbidities11–14

"….obesity…threatens to reduce [a person’s] health in the future even if no health impairment is observed…in the present"5

Science shows that physiologic responses to weight loss trigger weight regain16–20

Weight loss in people with obesity causes changes in appetite hormones that increase hunger and the desire to eat for at least 1 year16

Multiple hormones, such as ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and leptin, play an important role in regulating appetite21

The brain has a central role in regulating appetite and energy expenditure21

A 5–10% weight loss can provide many benefits and may improve obesity-related comorbidities26–32

Multiple treatment options are needed to help people with obesity lose weight and improve
their health6,33

Healthy eating and physical activity must be part of any weight-loss intervention, but are not always sufficient to maintain weight loss6