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Obesity

The health problem of the 21st century

The incidence of obesity increases dramatically.

  • 1.5 billion people over 20 years worldwide are overweight
  • 500 million thereof are obese (1 in 10 in total)
  • 50 million children under the age of 5 are overweight
  • 35 million of them living in developing countries

Therefore obesity is not only a problem of industrialized societies. Worldwide more people die from obesity-related complications than of hunger. Obesity is predominantly a “social and environmental disease” that can be prevented. Recent years have seen a improved understanding of the physiological mechanisms regulating energy homeostasis. However, many questions still remain unanswered.