Current Status and Prevention of Obesity

  • Yumi Matsushita


Obesity is known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and some cancers, and its prevention must be given a high priority in modern society. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by central obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, high blood pressure, and abnormal lipid metabolism, and is related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome has been increasing worldwide, in parallel with the increasing prevalence of obesity, and an urgent need for preventive strategies exists. In Asian populations, a higher percentage of body fat exists at low body mass index (BMI) values. This trend increases the risk of lifestyle-related diseases at a lower BMI. Thus, an appropriate BMI for Asians and its implications for policy and intervention strategies has been stated by the World Health Organization. For Asians, trigger points for public health action were identified as 23 kg/m2 or higher, representing an increased risk, and 27.5 kg/m2 or higher, representing a high risk (underweight, less than 18.5 kg/m2; an increased but acceptable risk, 18.5–23 kg/m2; an increased risk, 23–27.5 kg/m2; and a high risk, 27.5 kg/m2 or higher). Because of changes to a high-fat diet and insufficient exercise, the prevalence of obesity has been increasing throughout the world not only in developed countries but also in developing countries. Thus, careful attention to lifestyle is needed.


Body Mass Index Metabolic Syndrome Waist Circumference Metabolic Risk Factor Main Island 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and International HealthNational Center for Global Health and MedicineShinjuku-kuJapan

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