124. Challenges in Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Obesity

FNCE Recorded Sessions from 2017

Obesity reflects a preceding slow cumulative positive energy balance.

  • Release Date: October 22, 2017
  • SKU FNCE17124
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Obesity reflects a preceding slow cumulative positive energy balance. Whether it is primarily due to a minutely increased input, decreased expenditure or increased deposition remains unclear. Obesity leads to increased energy expenditure and hence increased energy needs, making it difficult to distinguish the processes and a challenge to interfere. Genetic predisposition and environmental exposures are involved, but which specific factors are operating and when remain to be clarified. The strong association between psycho-socio-economic factors and obesity calls for a new theory. Obesity is associated with metabolic alterations predisposing to several diseases, with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as the most prominent. However, some of the obese escape the problems, whereas some skinny fat may suffer from them. The link between the accumulation of the excess though inert triglyceride in fat cells and the metabolic alterations may be explained by the adipose expandability theory.

CPEU: 1.5
CPE Level: 3
Learning Codes: 5370, 2050, 3040

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the complexities of the dynamic role of the energy balance equation in obesity, and the challenges in interfering with the energy balance.
  • Describe the nature and possible mutual relations of the genetic and environmental causes of obesity, and justify the need for development of a new theory about obesity integrating the associations with psycho-socio-economic factors.
  • Report on the links between the metabolic effects of obesity, and on how the adipose expandability theory may explain these effects.


  • Thorkild IA Sørensen, MD, Dr Med Sci, Dr HC.


  • Eileen Myers, MPH, RDN, LDN, CEDRD, FADA, FAND

Planned with the Academy's Committee for Lifelong Learning

  • Release Date: October 22, 2017
  • SKU FNCE17124