Obesity is a worldwide problem that affects all ages and ethnicities. According to the World Health Organization, obesity affects 600 million adults (13% of the world’s adult population) and 41 million children under the age of five years.
Obesity increases the risk of multiple health problems, particularly cardiovascular issues, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, obstructive sleep apnea, cancer, asthma and osteoarthritis. Because of these health complications, obesity is associated with a reduced life expectancy (averaging 6 – 7 years lower than healthy weight individuals).
On top of lifestyle choices (e.g. poor diet and lack of exercise), obesity risk is also strongly influenced by a person’s genetic makeup. An understanding of your genetic variation can provide you with the tools you need to change your diet and lifestyle, to maintain a healthy weight.