Obesity Epidemiology: From Aetiology to Public Health

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David Crawford
Oxford University Press, 2010 - Medical - 471 pages
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Although recognised clinically for some time as an important condition that increases risk of ill-health in affected individuals, it is only recently that obesity had been recognised as a population-wide problem that requires preventive action. Obesity is a major contributor to diseases and disability, the associated health costs are enormous and obesity has already reached epidemic proportions in many countries, and incidence is continuing to increase in children and adults. Disturbingly the epidemic is not confined to developed countries, with many developing countries and those in transition affected. While recognised as a major population health problem, our understanding of the causes of the epidemic is poor, there has been relatively little population-based research that has focused on the prevention of unhealthy weight gain, and as a consequence knowledge regarding how and where best to intervene is limited.

Revised and updated and now part of the From Aetiology to Public Health series, Obesity Epidemiology provides a scholarly text that assists those concerned with understanding prevalence and trends in obesity; its health, social and economic consequences, the underlying causes of the obesity epidemic, the existing evidence regarding strategies to prevent obesity, and the potential of public health initiatives to impact on the population prevalence of obesity. This edition not only provides a thorough update of the material presented in the previous edition (entitled Obesity Prevention and Public Health), but also includes twelve new chapters that cover the epidemiology of obesity in children and adults, and the potential of public health approaches to its prevention.

This book will be of interest to all those working in public health and epidemiology; health policy makers, and clinicians and health practitioners working in the related fields of nutrition, exercise and diabetes.

About the series
By looking at public health issues from a unique condition-based approach, the innovative From Aetiology to Public Health series examines top public health issues from aetiology through to public health and prevention.

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About the author (2010)


Professor David Crawford has almost 30 years experience in population health research, having previously worked with the CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition, and the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health in Australia, and the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, USA. Professor Crawford also holds honorary positions with the EMGO Institute at the VU University, Amsterdam, and with the Cancer Council of Victoria. He is a past Vice-President of the Australasian Society for the Study of Obesity, a Co-Director of the Australian Childhood and Adolescent Obesity Research Network, and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. His research focuses on the behavioural, social and environmental influences on nutrition and physical activity, the epidemiology of overweight and obesity, and development and evaluation of obesity prevention strategies for children and adults.

Dr. Jeffery received his PhD in Psychology at Stanford University in 1974 and have been on the faculty at the University since 1978. His research specialty throughout his career has been the behavioral aspects of obesity. His work has included studies of the causes, consequences and treatment of obesity and he is probably best recognized for his work on Public Health issues related to obesity. He was among the first to articulate a public health conceptualization of the current obesity epidemic and to point toward environment change, broadly conceived, as the primary cause rather than individual characteristics. He was among the first to do experimental research on obesity prevention and on interventions to reduce the burden of obesity at the community level.

Associate Professor Kylie Ball completed her PhD in psychology in 2000, and since then has attained over a decade's research experience in population health, primarily relating to the social and behavioural epidemiology of physical activity, nutrition and obesity. A strong theme of her research has been focused on understanding and addressing socioeconomic inequalities in health behaviours and obesity. She is a current Fellow and past President of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Johannes Brug worked as nutrition epidemiologist for TNO-nutrition, the main Dutch research institute for nutrition-related research (1989-1991). He was granted a fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Society and worked for this Society until 1994 after which he started his PhD research at the Department of Health Education and Promotion of Maastricht University. He obtained his PhD in Health Sciences in 1997 and subsequently worked as Associate Professor in Health Psychology and later as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Netherlands Open University. From 2000-2002 Hans Brug was Professor of Nutrition Education and Director of Education at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Maastricht University. From 2002 to early 2007 Brug was Professor of Determinants of Population Health at the Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam. Hans Brug is an Honorary Professor at the Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioral Sciences, Deakin University, Australia.

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