State of the science: behavioural treatment of obesity.
Obesity is a global and preventable epidemic with serious health consequences for individuals worldwide, particularly for those in developed countries. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 1 billion people worldwide are overweight, and 300 million are obese. Research has demonstrated that weight losses as small as 7-10% of initial weight produce significant health benefits. These include reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. This paper describes behavioural methods to modify maladaptive eating and activity habits to achieve a healthy weight. It also examines the short- and long-term results of behavioural treatment for obesity and methods to improve long-term weight control.