Epidemic obesity and type 2 diabetes in Asia

Kun Ho Yoon, Jin Hee Lee, Ji Won Kim, Jae Hyoung Cho, Yoon Hee Choi, Seung Hyun Ko, Paul Zimmet, Ho Young Son

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

520 Citations (Scopus)


The proportions of people with type 2 diabetes and obesity have increased throughout Asia, and the rate of increase shows no sign of slowing. People in Asia tend to develop diabetes with a lesser degree of obesity at younger ages, suffer longer with complications of diabetes, and die sooner than people in other regions. Childhood obesity has increased substantially and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has now reached epidemic levels in Asia. The health consequences of this epidemic threaten to overwhelm health-care systems in the region. Urgent action is needed, and advocacy for lifestyle changes is the first step. Countries should review and implement interventions, and take a comprehensive and integrated public-health approach. At the level of primary prevention, such programmes can be linked to other non-communicable disease prevention programmes that target lifestyle-related issues. The cost of inaction is clear and unacceptable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1681-1688
Number of pages8
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number9548
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

Cite this