Obesity and metabolic conditions

Kathleen Davis, Elias Mpofu, Theresa Abah, Ami Moore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Obesity is a medical term that describes a condition in which adipose tissue, a body fat storage depot, increases beyond a healthy level. The risk of developing a chronic disease persists as body fat increases. Some examples of obesity-related chronic diseases are cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and diabetes mellitus. As the incidence of obesity spreads across a population so does disease burden, health care costs, losses in productivity, and early mortality. The sustainable health of populations requires managing obesity, a known cause of costly chronic conditions. In this chapter, we discuss sustainable ways to mitigate the adverse impact of obesity on community wellbeing, prioritizing a whole systems approach. A whole systems approach considers the multifaceted drivers of obesity and its disease outcomes. We discuss the critical importance of communities and neighborhoods in promoting effective health care systems, providing socially supported obesity control, and mitigation interventions. We open the chapter with a review of obesity and metabolic syndrome, a collection of obesity-related chronic diseases. Next we consider pertinent historical landmarks in obesity and related disease research with an emphasis on current practices and evolving community-level interventions. We then propose community-level strategies that promote physical activity, healthy food environments, and robust community health systems to reduce the prevalence of obesity in a given population. In discussing these community-oriented interventions, we consider the cultural, professional, and/or legislative issues relevant to those practices across locations and disciplines. Lastly, we discuss the future research and practice evidence needed to strengthen sustainable community-level interventions to reduce the incidence of obesity and related chronic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Community Health
Subtitle of host publicationSystems and Practices in Diverse Settings
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)9783030596873
ISBN (Print)9783030596866
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2021


  • Chronic illness and disease
  • Community
  • Mitigation
  • Neighborhoods
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Recovery
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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