Obesity is now replacing undernutrition and infectious diseases as the leading cause of ill health. It is considered as one of the greatest medical challenges to health in the United States; over 65% of American adults are either overweight or obese leading to 320,000 deaths each year in the United States (Kopelman, 2005). The annual medical costs of obesity in the United States are enormous (Bhattacharya and Bundorf, 2009). Globally, according to the World Health Organization, there are more than one billion overweight adults, of which at least 300 million are clinically obese. A recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data (2003–2006) has showed that for children aged 6–11 years and 12–19 years, the prevalence of overweight was 17.0% and 17.6%, respectively.

This content is only available via PDF.