Epidemiology of Obesity in Asia: Challenges and Prevention

Asif Raheem, Rabia Sultan, Humaira Yasmeen


Obesity is a complex, multifactorial and largely preventable disease affecting over a third of the world’s population today. In this review, prevalence of childhood and adult obesity, its causes, risk factors, interventions and management in different Asian countries was explored. It has been observed that obesity has grown up as an epidemic and it will intensify in the coming years if appropriate preventive measures are not adopted. Proper policies are needed to be implemented. Additionally, massive nation-wide public awareness programs with better structural infrastructure will be answer to this giant problematic challenge.

Keywords: Asia, body mass index; Obesity; Physical Activity; Prevalence; World Health Organization 

Full Text:



Lisco G, De Tullio A, Guastamacchia E, Triggiani V. Fixed-ratio combinations of basal insulin and GLP-1RA in the management of type

diabetes mellitus: highlights from the literature. Endocrine, Metabolic and Immune Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-Immune, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders), (2021); 21(4): 626-646.

Sly PD, Trottier B, Carpenter D, Cha’on U, Cormier S, Galluzzo B, Suk WA. Children’s environmental health in South and Southeast Asia: Networking for better child health outcomes. Annals of Global Health, (2019); 85(1).

Tam BT, Morais JA, Santosa S. Obesity and ageing: Two sides of the same coin. Obesity Reviews, (2020); 21(4): e12991.

Organization, W. H.O (2021, 9 June 2021). Obesity and overweight. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight

Smith J, Ayre J, Jansen J, Cvejic E, McCaffery KJ, Doust J, Copp T. Impact of diagnostic labels and causal explanations for weight gain on diet intentions, cognitions and emotions: An experimental online study. Appetite, (2021); 167: 105-612.

Nakamura C, Ishii A, Matsuo T, Ishida R, Yamaguchi T, Takada K, Yoshikawa T. Neural effects of acute stress on appetite: a magnetoencephalography study. PloS One, (2020); 15(1): e0228039.

Ran G, Liu J, Niu X, Zhang Q. Associations between Social Withdrawal and Peer Problems in Chinese and North American Youth: A Three-level Meta-analysis. Journal of Child and Family Studies, (2021); 1-12.

Garrido-Miguel M, Cavero-Redondo I, Álvarez-Bueno C, Rodríguez-Artalejo F, Moreno LA, Ruiz JR, Martínez-Vizcaíno V. Prevalence and trends of overweight and obesity in European children from 1999 to 2016: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA

Pediatrics, (2019); 173(10): e192430-e192430.

Pengpid S, Peltzer K. Overweight or obesity and related lifestyle and psychosocial factors among adolescents in Brunei Darussalam. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, (2020); 32(6).

CIA. (2016). The world factbook obesity – adult prevalence rate. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2228.html

Watanabe J, Kotani K. Metabolic syndrome for cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality among general Japanese people: a mini review. Vascular Health and Risk Management, (2020); 16: 149.

Biradar RA, Singh DP. Spatial clustering of diabetes among reproductive age women and its spatial determinants at the district level in southern India. Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health, (2020); 8(3): 791-796.

Chen KK, Wee SL, Pang BWJ, Lau LK, Jabbar KA, Seah WT, NgTP. Relationship between BMI with percentage body fat and obesity in Singaporean adults–The Yishun Study. BMC Public Health, (2021); 21(1): 1-9.

Hidrus A, Kueh YC, Norsaádah B, Chang YK, Hung TM, Naing NN, Kuan G. Effects of brain breaks videos on the motives for the physical activity of Malaysians with type-2 diabetes mellitus. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, (2020); 17(7): 2507.

Kriengsinyos W, Chan P, Amarra MSV. Consumption and sources of added sugar in Thailand: a review. Asia Pacific Journal of clinical nutrition, (2018); 27(2): 262-283.

Center for Health Protection. (2019). Non-Communicable Diseases and Healthy Living: Obesity. Retreived from https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/healthtopics/content/25/8802.html

Ha KH, Lee YH, Song SO, Lee JW, Kim DW, Cho KH, Kim DJ. Development and validation of the Korean diabetes risk score: a 10-year national cohort study. Diabetes and Metabolism Journal, (2018); 42(5): 402-414.

Chang A, Schulz PJ, Jiao W, Liu MT. Obesity-Related Communication in Digital Chinese News From Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan: Automated Content Analysis. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, (2021); 7(11): e26660.

Motevalli M, Drenowatz C, Tanous DR, Khan NA, Wirnitzer K. Management of childhood obesity—Time to shift from generalized to personalized intervention strategies. Nutrients, (2021); 13(4): 1200.

CDC. (2018). Adult Obesity Causes & Consequences. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes.html

Suglia SF, Shelton RC, Hsiao A, Wang YC, Rundle A, Link BG. Why the neighborhood social environment is critical in obesity prevention. Journal of Urban Health, (2016); 93(1): 206-212.

Meldrum DR, Morris MA, Gambone JC. Obesity pandemic: causes, consequences, and solutions—but do we have the will?. Fertility and Sterility, (2017); 107(4): 833-839.

Tanaka C, Tanaka S, Inoue S, Miyachi M, Suzuki K, Abe T, Reilly JJ. Results from the Japan's 2018 report card on physical activity for children and youth. Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness, (2019); 17(1): 20-25.

Karri S, Sharma S, Hatware K, Patil K. Natural anti-obesity agents and their therapeutic role in management of obesity: A future trend perspective. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, (2019); 110: 224-238.

Aris I M, Rifas-Shiman SL, Li LJ, Kleinman KP, Coull BA, Gold DR, Oken E. Patterns of body mass index milestones in early life and cardiometabolic risk in early adolescence. International Journal of Epidemiology, (2019); 48(1): 157-167.

Mohamad Nor NS, Ambak R, Mohd Zaki N, Abdul Aziz NS, Cheong SM, Abd Razak MA, Aris T. An update on obesity research pattern among adults in Malaysia: a scoping review. BMC Women's Health, (2018); 18(1): 5-15.

Fujita K, Hayashi T, Matsushita M, Uemura M, Nonomura N. Obesity, inflammation, and prostate cancer. Journal of Clinical Medicine, (2019); 8(2): 201.

CNPP. (2020). Dietary guidelines for americans 2015-2020 Retrieved from https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf

Chopra S, Malhotra A, Ranjan P, Vikram NK, Singh, N. Lifestyle-related advice in the management of obesity: a step-wise approach. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, (2020); 9.

Cho Y, Hong N, Kim KW, Cho SJ, Lee M, Lee YH, Lee BW. The effectiveness of intermittent fasting to reduce body mass index and glucose metabolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Medicine, (2019); 8(10): 1645.

Stekovic S, Hofer SJ, Tripolt N, Aon MA, Royer P, Pein L, Madeo F. Alternate day fasting improves physiological and molecular markers of aging in healthy, non-obese humans. Cell Metabolism, (2019); 30(3): 462-476.

Gautam S, Jeong HS. Childhood obesity and its associated factors among school children in Udupi, Karnataka, India. Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, (2019); 9(1): 27.


  • There are currently no refbacks.