Obesity is one of the most important public health issues of our time. It is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and its major risk factors, and increases risk throughout the life course, beginning in childhood. Despite our long-standing knowledge of the importance of obesity, our ability to modify it at multiple different levels remains limited.
Accordingly, in this Circulation Series on Obesity, a group of experts have provided review articles in the following content areas: The first set of articles will review current and future therapies for obesity, including lifestyle interventions, pharmacology, surgery, and devices. The second set of articles will explore the pathophysiology of obesity, including energy balance, body fat distribution, brown adipose tissue, and molecular mechanisms linking obesity to cardiovascular disease. Next, the series will explore important preventive aspects of obesity, including childhood obesity, the epidemiology of obesity and cardiovascular disease, and the built environment. The series will close with an article detailing the clinical management of obesity, which will draw from many of the articles in the series, and finally the role of policy and government in the obesity epidemic.
I am grateful to the authors of this series, who are providing insights to the burden, prevention, and treatment of obesity from a variety of perspectives.
Caroline S. Fox, MD, MPH
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.