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Obesity: exploring the causes, consequences and solutions

The World Health Organization estimates that levels of obesity worldwide have doubled since 1980, and in 2012 more than 40 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese. The rising incidence of obesity poses a great burden on healthcare systems, as excess body weight is believed to be the driver of many non-communicable diseases, namely type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.

To tackle what is, in most cases a preventable condition, there has been increased focus on introducing initiatives to aid long-term weight loss. These range from improving patient and healthcare provider education to policy reform regarding the sale of pre-packaged and processed foods. While lifestyle interventions, bariatric surgery and pharmacotherapy are being offered as ways to treat and manage obese patients, translational and clinical researchers are also trying to dissect the mechanisms behind the causes and effects of obesity.

This article collection in BMC Medicine aims to explore the main contributing factors and possible solutions to tackle the obesity crisis. We are seeking submissions of articles covering all areas of obesity research, including clinical studies of new therapies and interventions, and translational advances that contribute to understanding the causes of obesity.

  1. While rare compared to female breast cancer the incidence of male breast cancer (MBC) has increased in the last few decades. Without comprehensive epidemiological studies, the explanation for the increased inc...

    Authors: Matthew P. Humphries, V. Craig Jordan and Valerie Speirs

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:134

    Content type: Opinion

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  2. Whether overweight or obese end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients are suitable for renal transplantation (RT) is often debated. The objective of this review and meta-analysis was to systematically investigat...

    Authors: Jeffrey A Lafranca, Jan NM IJermans, Michiel GH Betjes and Frank JMF Dor

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:111

    Content type: Research article

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    The Erratum to this article has been published in BMC Medicine 2015 13:141

  3. Obesity is strongly associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) and various other diseases. Genome-wide association studies have identified multiple risk loci robustly associated with body mass index (BMI)...

    Authors: Chi-Fa Hung, Gerome Breen, Darina Czamara, Tanguy Corre, Christiane Wolf, Stefan Kloiber, Sven Bergmann, Nick Craddock, Michael Gill, Florian Holsboer, Lisa Jones, Ian Jones, Ania Korszun, Zoltan Kutalik, Susanne Lucae, Wolfgang Maier…

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:86

    Content type: Research article

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  4. Relapse is high in lifestyle obesity interventions involving behavior and weight change. Identifying mediators of successful outcomes in these interventions is critical to improve effectiveness and to guide ap...

    Authors: Pedro J Teixeira, Eliana V Carraça, Marta M Marques, Harry Rutter, Jean-Michel Oppert, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Jeroen Lakerveld and Johannes Brug

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:84

    Content type: Research article

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  5. Excess body weight is a major risk factor for cardiometabolic diseases. The complex molecular mechanisms of body weight change-induced metabolic perturbations are not fully understood. Specifically, in-depth m...

    Authors: Simone Wahl, Susanne Vogt, Ferdinand Stückler, Jan Krumsiek, Jörg Bartel, Tim Kacprowski, Katharina Schramm, Maren Carstensen, Wolfgang Rathmann, Michael Roden, Carolin Jourdan, Antti J Kangas, Pasi Soininen, Mika Ala-Korpela, Ute Nöthlings, Heiner Boeing…

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:48

    Content type: Research article

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  6. The Fat Mass and Obesity-Associated Protein (FTO) gene rs9939609 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) has been associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance (IR), and type 2 diabetes mellitus in...

    Authors: Daniel Pineda-Tenor, Juan Berenguer, María A Jiménez-Sousa, Mónica García-Alvarez, Teresa Aldámiz-Echevarria, Ana Carrero, Sonia Vázquez-Morón, Pilar García-Broncano, Cristina Diez, Francisco Tejerina, María Guzmán-Fulgencio and Salvador Resino

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:198

    Content type: Research article

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  7. Guidelines and experts describe 5% to 10% reductions in body weight as `clinically important’; however, it is not clear if 5% to 10% weight reductions correspond to clinically important improvements in health-...

    Authors: Lindsey M Warkentin, Sumit R Majumdar, Jeffrey A Johnson, Calypse B Agborsangaya, Christian F Rueda-Clausen, Arya M Sharma, Scott W Klarenbach, Shahzeer Karmali, Daniel W Birch and Raj S Padwal

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:175

    Content type: Research article

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  8. Overweight and obesity during pregnancy represents a considerable health burden. While research has focused on interventions to limit gestational weight gain, there is little information describing their impac...

    Authors: Jodie M Dodd, Andrew J McPhee, Deborah Turnbull, Lisa N Yelland, Andrea R Deussen, Rosalie M Grivell, Caroline A Crowther, Gary Wittert, Julie A Owens and Jeffrey S Robinson

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:163

    Content type: Research article

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  9. Overweight and obesity is a significant health concern during pregnancy. Our aim was to investigate the effect of providing antenatal dietary and lifestyle advice to women who are overweight or obese on compon...

    Authors: Jodie M Dodd, Courtney Cramp, Zhixian Sui, Lisa N Yelland, Andrea R Deussen, Rosalie M Grivell, Lisa J Moran, Caroline A Crowther, Deborah Turnbull, Andrew J McPhee, Gary Wittert, Julie A Owens and Jeffrey S Robinson

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:161

    Content type: Research article

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  10. Waist circumference (WC) is used to indirectly measure abdominal adipose tissue and the associated risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Because of its easy implementation a...

    Authors: Ana María Contardo Ayala, Giel Nijpels and Jeroen Lakerveld

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:170

    Content type: Research article

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  11. Several non-invasive prediction scores for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) have been developed, but their performance has not been compared and validated in the same population, and whether these pre...

    Authors: Ching-Lung Cheung, Karen SL Lam, Ian CK Wong and Bernard MY Cheung

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:154

    Content type: Research article

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  12. Obesity and metabolic syndrome are healthcare problems that continue to rise in frequency worldwide. Both phenotypes are a strong predictor for development of liver steatosis in the context of non-alcoholic fa...

    Authors: Bark Betzel and Joost PH Drenth

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:152

    Content type: Commentary

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  13. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is caused by abnormal accumulation of lipids within liver cells. Its prevalence is increasing in developed countries in association with obesity, and it represents a r...

    Authors: Raúl Jiménez-Agüero, José I Emparanza, Adolfo Beguiristain, Luis Bujanda, José M Alustiza, Elisabeth García, Elizabeth Hijona, Lander Gallego, Javier Sánchez-González, María J Perugorria, José I Asensio, Santiago Larburu, Maddi Garmendia, Mikel Larzabal, María P Portillo, Leixuri Aguirre…

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:137

    Content type: Research article

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  14. Although obesity and diabetes commonly co-exist, the evidence base to support obesity as the major driver of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and the mechanisms by which this occurs, are now better appreciated.

    Authors: Naveed Sattar and Jason MR Gill

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:123

    Content type: Opinion

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  15. Much research is underway on the links between diet and obesity. So too are long-running disputes among nutritionists on core questions about the relationship. This editorial reviews the state-of-play on four ...

    Authors: Jack Winkler

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:114

    Content type: Editorial

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  16. Circulating free fatty acids are often elevated in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obese individuals. Chronic exposure to high levels of saturated fatty acids has detrimental effects on islet function ...

    Authors: Elin Hall, Petr Volkov, Tasnim Dayeh, Karl Bacos, Tina Rönn, Marloes Dekker Nitert and Charlotte Ling

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:103

    Content type: Research article

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  17. Quantification of disease burden by deaths or years lived with disability is a useful indicator as it informs prevention by accounting for health loss but it does not reflect the needs for health services. An ...

    Authors: Andrew G Renehan and Iain E Buchan

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:64

    Content type: Commentary

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  18. It is unclear whether an ‘obesity survival paradox’ exists for pneumonia. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to assess the associations between increased body mass index (BMI), pneumonia risk, and mortali...

    Authors: Wei Nie, Yi Zhang, Sun Ha Jee, Keum Ji Jung, Bing Li and Qingyu Xiu

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:61

    Content type: Research article

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  19. Adiposity is associated with many adverse health outcomes but little direct evidence exists about its impact on the use of health care services. We aim to describe the relationship between body mass index (BMI...

    Authors: Gillian K Reeves, Angela Balkwill, Benjamin J Cairns, Jane Green and Valerie Beral

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2014 12:45

    Content type: Research article

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