About this Research Topic
Obesity has become a global epidemic over a period of only two decades. It now represents an urgent medical and a major societal challenge for which the solution certainly requires a multidisciplinary approach. The Frontiers community, by covering all aspects concerned by this phenomenon, has the breadth to meaningfully participate in this debate and hopefully contribute to designing solutions. It is thus the overall objective of the current Research Topic to overview the several aspects concerned with obesity, from the description and explanation of its evolution over time and propagation in various geographical areas, to the medical complications and their economic consequences. With the rate of overweight persons heading for more than 50%, obesity is about to become the population "normal".
Numerous questions and problems associated with obesity should be discussed in the current Topic, including the following, non-exclusive, examples:
- Epidemiology: Why or how did obesity become a global epidemic? What are the differences between geographical regions and cultures?
- Medicine: To what extent does obesity increase the risk of degenerative joint disease, liver disease, stroke, heart disease, Type II diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia, phlebitis, gout, polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility and cancer. How should society respond to these challenges?
- Nutrition: Does nutritional science impart sufficient guidance for policy makers, agricultural and food industries to induce the changes necessary to improve population wide energy-balance? How can public and private sectors work together in the development of balanced nutritional approaches? What is the role of the food industries to promote more healthy eating?
- Endocrinology: to what extent is the problem hormonal and could endocrine interventions be effective?
- Surgery: Bariatric surgery and bariatric embolization may be cost-effective in reducing the long-term costs of treating obesity-associated morbidity; but is modification of human anatomy the solution to adapting to a modern-lifestyle?
- Therapeutics: Will there be an acceptable pharmaceutical remedy? Is there a way to reduce our eating-addiction?
- Society: Are there behavioral changes that could be effectively induced at the population level? How much can redesign of the built-environment improve population energy-balance? How much longer can health care systems cope with the growing cost of treating the consequences of the epidemic?
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.