Obesity Basics

Mother and son preparing a salad

Obesity is a common, serious, and costly chronic disease. Many factors can contribute to gaining too much weight including eating patterns, physical activity levels, sleep routines, genetics, and certain medications.

The conditions in which we live, work, and play—called social determinants of health—also matter. Child care and school environments, community design, access to healthy, affordable foods and beverages, and access to safe and convenient places for physical activity affect our ability to make healthy choices.

Obesity is serious because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. In the United States and worldwide, obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death, including deaths from diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.

Connect with Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity