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Obesity in adults: Etiology and natural history

George A Bray, MD
Section Editor
F Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, MPH
Deputy Editor
Kathryn A Martin, MD


Obesity is a chronic disease that is increasing in prevalence in adults, adolescents, and children, and is now considered to be a global epidemic. Obesity is associated with a significant increase in mortality and with risk of many disorders, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, cancer, and others. This topic will review the natural history of obesity and the etiologic factors associated with being overweight and obese (table 1). The etiology of obesity in children and adolescents is reviewed separately. The genetic causes of obesity as well as the evaluation, prevalence, and treatment of obesity in adults are also discussed separately.

(See "Definition; epidemiology; and etiology of obesity in children and adolescents".)

(See "Genetic contribution and pathophysiology of obesity".)

(See "Obesity in adults: Health consequences".)

(See "Obesity in adults: Prevalence, screening, and evaluation".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Feb 08, 2017.
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