Numerous models have been proposed that try to explain the complex etiology of obesity. Etiology maps have been created to interconnect the various endogenous and exogenous variables that contribute to the pathophysiological pathways that lead to overweight and obesity. No country in the world has solved the problem of overweight and obesity, and the health and economic consequences that are suffered around the world are on the rise since the world population is getting more obese by the day. We aim to reflect on those variables that we see as potential target points for weight loss and to present the best available current data on the overweight and obesity epidemic. The goal of this review chapter is to emphasize the importance of different obesity determinants: host factors, social environment, built environment and behavioral determinants. Obesity is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, hormonal dysfunction and depression, it lowers lifetime expectancy and reduces the overall health-related quality of life. Searching for a one-size-fits-all solution has been shown ineffective in preventing the escalating obesity rates. Efforts should be directed towards defining targeted, individualized strategies, while creating a network of support that includes healthcare professionals, family members and national regulations. A multi modal interdisciplinary approach and patient-centered care is mandatory to stop the global obesity epidemic.
Keywords: Body weight, Built environment, Behavior, Determinants, Energy imbalance, Inflammation, Metabolically healthy obesity, Microbiome, Obesity, Risk factors.