Obesity is a complex disease. It is influenced by physiological, environmental, genetic, economic, social and psychological factors. Many of these cannot be fully controlled by a person with obesity.1-4

There are many reasons for the causes of obesity, many of which might surprise you. Discover the real science behind obesity.


Although widely recognised as a chronic disease, obesity is influenced by multiple factors, many of which cannot be controlled.1-4


Misinformation, discrimination and stigma surround every aspect of obesity, what society thinks about it, and how it is treated.5

Let’s use real science to break down the myths surrounding obesity.



Discover the real science of obesity Understand the science


How obesity can impact you What are the risks?


Science based treatments and outcomes What are the options?


Hear from those who have treated their obesity successfully See real people, real stories

Here’s the science:

  1. Caterson I, et al. Gaps to bridge: Misalignment between perception, reality and actions in obesity, Diabetes Obes Metab 2019; 21(8): 1914–24.
  2. National Health and Medical Research Council (2013). Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia. Available at https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/clinical-practice-guidelines-management-overweight-and-obesity, accessed September 2019.
  3. Obesity prevention and management position statement 2019. Available at https://www.racgp.org.au/FSDEDEV/media/documents/RACGP/Position%20statements/Obesity-prevention-and-management.pdf. Accessed September 2019.
  4. Casazza K, et al. Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity.N Engl J Med 2013; 368:446-454
  5. Action to prevent obesity and reduce its impact across the life course – Evidence Review. 2018. Available at https://www.racp.edu.au/docs/default-source/advocacy-library/racp-obesity-position-statement.pdf. Accessed December 2019
  6. Schwartz M, et al. Obesity Pathogenesis: An Endocrine Society Scientific StatementEndocrine Rev 2017; 38: 267–96.
  7. Bray G, et al. Obesity: a chronic relapsing progressive disease process. A position statement of the World ObesityFederation Obesity Rev 2017; 18(7); 715–23.
  8. Dhurandhar N. Stop the patient blame game: what actually causes obesity. Available at https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/909500. Accessed September 2019.
  9. Bray G, et al. The Science of Obesity Management: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. Obesity Rev 2018; 39; 79-132
  10. Das B, Khan O. The myths of obesity. Int J Surg 2019; 68: 114–16.
  11. Sumithran P and Proietto J. The defence of body weight: a physiological basis for weight regain after weight loss. Clin Sci 2103; 124: 231–41.
  12. Fothergill E, et al. Persistent Metabolic Adaptation 6 Years After “The Biggest Loser” Competition.Obesity 2016; 24(8): 1612–19.
  13. Pilitsi E, et al. Pharmacotherapy of obesity: Available medications and drugs under investigation. Metab Clin Exp 2019; 92: 170–92.
  14. IBIS World. Weight Loss Services industry trends (2014-2019). Available at https://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry-trends/market-research-reports/personal-services/weight-loss-services.html., Accessed September 2019.
  15. Brandkvist M, et al, Quantifying the impact of genes on body mass index during the obesity epidemic: longitudinal findings from the HUNT Study. BMJ 2019; 366:14067
  16. ANZOS and ADS. 2019. The Australian Obesity Management Algorithm. Available at: http://anzos.com/assets/Obesity-Management-Algorithm-18.10.2016.pdf. Accessed September 2019.
  17. Asthma Australia. What is Asthma. Available at https://asthma.org.au/about-asthma/. Accessed December 2019.