A growing problem

There are one billion people who are overweight (BMI > 25) and 300 people who are obese (BMI > 30) in the world. In Sweden the corresponding number is more than 2.5 million and 600.000 individuals. The number of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. 20 million children under the age of five are overweight. The life expectancy of children under the age of fifteen who get the type of diabetes that is associated with obesity is likely to be shortened by 30 years.
Until now, there has been no effective treatment for obesity except surgery. No diet has proved to be better than any other for weight loss. Neither has pharmacological treatment given a weight reduction of more than 8-10 pounds after one year of treatment. This modest weight loss is almost invariably followed by regaining the weight. The healthcare cost for overweight and obese individuals in the USA and in the EU is estimated to $150 billion per year. In Sweden the cost for overweight is three billion SEK per year.