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September 19, 2012

Progress in Obesity Research: Reasons for Optimism

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Livingston (edward.livingston@jamanetwork.org) is Deputy Editor and Dr Zylke is Senior Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2012;308(11):1162-1164. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.12203

It is tempting, when considering obesity, to be pessimistic. The prevalence of obesity in adults and children increased to record levels in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the rate of increase has slowed, in 2010 more than 35% of adults1 and 16% of children aged 2 to 19 years2 were obese. Obesity is accompanied by complications that include diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea. Consequently, obesity is one of the greatest threats to health in the modern era.