Obesity is a serious and growing public health problem affecting developed and developing countries. It is generally agreed that the causes of the current obesity epidemic are not genetic in origin, but are the result of changes in the environments in which we live. While acknowledging the importance of environmental factors, the central role of behaviour in the obesity epidemic cannot be ignored. It is our eating, physical activity and sedentary behaviours that form the interface between our biology and the environments to which we are exposed. However, a lack of understanding of the specific behaviours that are important in the aetiology of obesity poses a major constraint to preventing obesity. A better understanding of the behaviours that contribute to weight gain and obesity is critical in order to plan and implement effective obesity prevention initiatives.Theory-driven investigations of eating, physical activity and sedentary behaviours, their determinants, and their role in weight gain and obesity among different population groups are urgent research priorities. Without an understanding of the key behaviours that contribute to weight gain, and the influences on these behaviours, it will remain difficult to identify where to intervene in the environment and be confident that action will prevent obesity.
Field of Research
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
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