News & Views | Published:


Global trends in the prevalence of overweight and obesity

Nature Reviews Endocrinology volume 10, pages 513514 (2014) | Download Citation

A new report provides compelling evidence of the high prevalence of overweight and obesity throughout the world. The prevalence has increased since 1980, but at different rates across ages, times and locations. Studies exploring the causes of these differences could aid development of effective prevention strategies.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    et al. Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet .

  2. 2.

    WHO. Global status report on non-communicable diseases 2010 , (2010).

  3. 3.

    , & The levelling off of the obesity epidemic since the year 1999—a review of evidence and perspectives. Obesity Rev. 11, 835–846 (2010).

  4. 4.

    , , & Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011–2012. JAMA 311, 806–814 (2014).

  5. 5.

    , , & Birth cohort effect on the obesity epidemic in Denmark. Epidemiology 17, 292–295 (2006).

  6. 6.

    , & Declining and stabilising trends in prevalence of overweight and obesity in Dutch, Turkish, Moroccan and South Asian children 3–16 years of age between 1999 and 2011 in the Netherlands. Arch. Dis. Child. 99, 46–51 (2014).

  7. 7.

    Evolutionary perspectives on the obesity epidemic: adaptive, maladaptive, and neutral viewpoints. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 33, 289–317 (2013).

  8. 8.

    , & Top 10 research questions related to energy balance. Res. Q Exerc. Sport 85, 49–58 (2014).

  9. 9.

    et al. Ten putative contributors to the obesity epidemic. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 49, 868–913 (2009).

  10. 10.

    & Obesity and socioeconomic status—a complex relation. N. Engl. J. Med. 329, 1036–1037 (1993).

Download references

Author information


  1. Institute of Preventive Medicine, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospitals, The Capital Region, Nordre Fasanvej 57, DK2000 Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark.

    • Camilla Schmidt Morgen
  2. The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 1, DK2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.

    • Thorkild I. A. Sørensen


  1. Search for Camilla Schmidt Morgen in:

  2. Search for Thorkild I. A. Sørensen in:

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thorkild I. A. Sørensen.

About this article

Publication history



Further reading

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing