The Obesity Prevention Source is an in-depth resource for all who seek to understand the causes of obesity—and to reverse the epidemic of obesity in children and adults. Policy and environmental changes are the foundation of obesity prevention. Our goal is to inform and empower people with science-based information about what can and must be done to prevent adult and childhood obesity; to help those who are overweight achieve a healthier weight; and ultimately, to turn back the obesity epidemic’s global spread.

Here’s what you’ll find on The Obesity Prevention Source:

  • Concise research summaries on obesity causes: From failing to follow a healthy diet to our toxic food environment, learn what causes weight gain.
  • Roadmaps to promising obesity prevention strategies: It’s never too early to start preventing obesity, so child obesity prevention strategies for families, early child care, and schools receive special focus. Other sections cover strategies for worksites and the health care system, as well as community and national-level strategies for improving the food and built environment. Many of these prevention strategies can also help people who are overweight achieve a healthier weight.
  • Obesity statistics and trends: Make the case for obesity prevention with child obesity statistics and adult obesity statistics, as well as articles that review the effects of obesity on health and healthcare costs.
  • Healthy diet and lifestyle tips for obesity prevention: The Healthy Weight Checklist offers straightforward advice on eating well, staying active, limiting screen time, and lowering stress. It’s a helpful resource for anyone who wants to stay at a healthy weight or lose weight, and also for those who work to help others stay healthy, including parents, teachers, and health care providers.

Many factors contribute to rising rates of obesity in children and adults. Among them: The abundance of low-priced, high-calorie processed foods and sugary drinks. Incessant food marketing to drive people to eat more, even when they are full. Technology advances that reduce the need for daily physical activity. Yet what sometimes gets lost in the discussion of our worldwide weight problem is one simple fact: Obesity is preventable. And we can turn around the obesity epidemic by collaboratively creating an environment where the default option is the healthy choice.

Terms of Use

The aim of the Harvard School of Public Health Obesity Prevention Source Web site is to provide timely information about obesity’s global causes, consequences, prevention, and control, for the public, health and public health practitioners, business and community leaders, and policymakers. The contents of this Web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Web site. The Web site’s obesity prevention policy recommendations are based primarily on a review of U.S. expert guidance, unless otherwise indicated; in other countries, different policy approaches may be needed to achieve improvements in food and physical activity environments, so that healthy choices are easy choices, for all.