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PLOS Medicine Special Issue: Determinants, consequences and treatment of Obesity

The editors of PLOS Medicine, together with guest editors Sanjay Basu, Karine Clément, Nick Wareham and Ronald Ma, announce a forthcoming Special Issue dedicated to Obesity. Research submissions are now being invited.

The prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, which can be attributed to a multitude of socio-economic factors. Along with this rising tide of obesity, studies have shown that the levels of childhood obesity are also rapidly increasing worldwide, which prompted several nations to pledge action to tackle childhood obesity at the global level. The latest report from the World Obesity Federation shows that 250million children will be obese by 2030 and very few countries are on track to halt the increase in childhood obesity.

The prevention of obesity at the individual and population level has been a challenge. A complex interplay of socioeconomic, cultural and biological factors can determine whether an individual might be at risk of becoming obese. Similar factors can also influence weight loss, which is a difficult pursuit for obese individuals and drastic losses can be hard to sustain. Being obese has been shown to negatively affect individual health in that it is directly associated with several co-morbidities such as Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

In order to inform clinicians and researchers of new developments in this realm and to facilitate policy changes that can help tackle the global obesity crisis, the editors at PLOS Medicine are delighted to announce that we will be devoting a special issue to the determinants, consequences and treatment of obesity.

With the help of our guest editors Sanjay Basu, Nick Wareham, Karine Clement and Ron Ma we hope to publish high quality research that can directly impact patients, clinicians and policymakers. The guest editors and PLOS Medicine editors are particularly interested in receiving research submissions in the following areas:

  • Determinants of obesity such as the interplay between genetics, socioeconomic conditions, cultural and lifestyle risk factors for obesity at the individual and population level. Thus including nutrition, economic deprivation, genetic predisposition and physical activity.


  • Metabolic consequences of obesity such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Understanding the burden of obesity and related co-morbidities to inform patient management. Epidemiology of disease burden in minority populations or low-middle income countries facing rapid urbanisation.


  • Prevention and treatment of Obesity such as behavioural, surgical or pharmacological interventions to assist weight loss and population-based interventions such as taxation or marketing to influence food related behaviours.


We are interested in studies that focus on risk factors of obesity or highlight the burden and the consequences of obesity on an individual and population level.  We are seeking research studies that propose novel and/or cost-effective strategies to prevent obesity at the population level.

For further details on how to submit your article for inclusion in this special issue please see and contact the journal at with any questions. The submission deadline is February 7th 2020.

Image Credit: TeroVesanlainen, Pixabay

  1. The Diabesity epidemic has advanced in unison with an epidemic in mental illness. Indeed trauma, dysbiosis, dysregulation of the emotional neuroarchitecture of the developing human organism are key features of these twin epidemics. Medical as a cornerstone institution of human civilisation is entangled with Big Pharma- Big Agribusiness, with deleterious consequences for humans and animal health and the environment. Notwithstanding the wonderful technical advances we have seen in the past 40 yrs ;there are multiple iatrogenic drivers of ill health that need to be addressed. An open and transparent biomedical research framework is long overdue. The strategies to censor vigorous scientific debate need to be resisted. All kudos to PLOS for driving this process.

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