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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
  Year: 2004 | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 14-25
DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2004.14.25
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Prevalence and Etiology of Obesity - An Overview

Aien khan Afridi and Alam Khan

Obesity is an excess body weight due to fat deposition as compared to set standards of body weight. Though it is determined by a number of methods, but body mass index (BMI) has become the measurement of choice for many obesity researchers and health professionals. BMI is a practical indicator of the severity of obesity. A more important aspect of obesity is the regional distribution of excess body fat. Mortality and morbidity ratio vary with the distribution of body fat, with the highest risk linked to excessive abdominal fat, usually called as Central obesity. Waist circumference is a useful measurement to the risks associated with obesity. Waist circumference and BMI are interrelated, waist circumference provides an independent prediction of risk over and above that of BMI. Prevalence of obesity varies amongst countries depending upon environmental and behavioral changes brought about by economic development, modernization and urbanization. The variation in prevalence of obesity epidemic in various races and communities of the world may be attributed to heredity, age, sex, diet, eating patterns, life style and/or behavior. The prevalence of obesity is minimum in China (3.8%) and Singapore (6.7%) and maximum in Micronesian Island of Naru (85% for male and 93% for female). In Pakistan, the prevalence is 7-8%. Obesity develops as a result of a complex interaction between a person`s genes and the environment characterized by long-term energy imbalance due to excessive caloric consumption, insufficient energy out put (sedentary lifestyle, low resting metabolic rate) or both. Diet and life style play a significant role both in development and control of obesity. A virus Ad-36 found in obese individuals may be an additional factor to the escalating prevalence of obesity.
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How to cite this article:

Aien khan Afridi and Alam Khan , 2004. Prevalence and Etiology of Obesity - An Overview. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 3: 14-25.

DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2004.14.25






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