Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Advances in the Science, Treatment, and Prevention of the Disease of Obesity: Reflections From a Diabetes Care Editors' Expert Forum

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Philip Home


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


As obesity rates increase, so too do the risks of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and numerous other detrimental conditions. The prevalence of obesity in U.S. adults more than doubled between 1980 and 2010, from 15.0 to 36.1%. Although this trend may be leveling off, obesity and its individual, societal, and economic costs remain of grave concern. In June 2014, a Diabetes Care Editors' Expert Forum convened to review the state of obesity research and discuss the latest prevention initiatives and behavioral, medical, and surgical therapies. This article, an outgrowth of the forum, offers an expansive view of the obesity epidemic, beginning with a discussion of its root causes. Recent insights into the genetic and physiological factors that influence body weight are reviewed, as are the pathophysiology of obesity-related metabolic dysfunction and the concept of metabolically healthy obesity. The authors address the crucial question of how much weight loss is necessary to yield meaningful benefits. They describe the challenges of behavioral modification and predictors of its success. The effects of diabetes pharmacotherapies on body weight are reviewed, including potential weight-neutral combination therapies. The authors also summarize the evidence for safety and efficacy of pharmacotherapeutic and surgical obesity treatments. The article concludes with an impassioned call for researchers, clinicians, governmental agencies, health policymakers, and health-related industries to collectively embrace the urgent mandate to improve prevention and treatment and for society at large to acknowledge and manage obesity as a serious disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cefalu WT, Bray GA, Home PD, Garvey WT, Klein S, Pi-Sunyer FX, Hu FB, Raz I, Van Gaal L, Wolfe BM, Ryan DH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Diabetes Care

Year: 2015

Volume: 38

Issue: 8

Pages: 1567-1582

Print publication date: 01/08/2015

Online publication date: 23/07/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 0149-5992

ISSN (electronic): 1935-5548

Publisher: American Diabetes Association


DOI: 10.2337/dc15-1081


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
1-U54-GM-104940National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health