Dynamic model predicting overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity prevalence trends.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: Obesity prevalence in the United States appears to be leveling, but the reasons behind the plateau remain unknown. Mechanistic insights can be provided from a mathematical model. The objective of this study is to model known multiple population parameters associated with changes in body mass index (BMI) classes and to establish conditions under which obesity prevalence will plateau. DESIGN AND METHODS: A differential equation system was developed that predicts population-wide obesity prevalence trends. The model considers both social and nonsocial influences on weight gain, incorporates other known parameters affecting obesity trends, and allows for country specific population growth. RESULTS: The dynamic model predicts that: obesity prevalence is a function of birthrate and the probability of being born in an obesogenic environment; obesity prevalence will plateau independent of current prevention strategies; and the US prevalence of overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity will plateau by about 2030 at 28%, 32%, and 9% respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The US prevalence of obesity is stabilizing and will plateau, independent of current preventative strategies. This trend has important implications in accurately evaluating the impact of various anti-obesity strategies aimed at reducing obesity prevalence.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Thomas, DM; Weedermann, M; Fuemmeler, BF; Martin, CK; Dhurandhar, NV; Bredlau, C; Heymsfield, SB; Ravussin, E; Bouchard, C

Published Date

  • February 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 590 - 597

PubMed ID

  • 23804487

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23804487

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1930-739X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/oby.20520


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States