The rise of the obesity epidemic: How has the age-related process of overweight or obesity development changed over time? ShareThis


Prof Rebecca Hardy presented findings from CLOSER's investigation into the rise of the obesity 'epidemic' in the UK across five generations.

About the seminar

It is estimated that the obesity ‘epidemic’ will cost the UK’s National Health Service £22.9 billion per year by 2050. Utilizing longitudinal data in the United Kingdom birth cohort studies, Prof Rebecca Hardy and colleagues investigated shifts over the past nearly 70 years in the distribution of body mass index (BMI) and development of overweight or obesity across childhood and adulthood. Their results demonstrate how younger generations are likely to accumulate greater exposure to overweight or obesity throughout their lives and, thus, increased risk for chronic health conditions such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In the absence of effective intervention, overweight and obesity will have severe public health consequences in decades to come.


  • Professor Rebecca Hardy photo

    Professor Rebecca Hardy,

    Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

    Rebecca is Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics and a programme leader at the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL. Rebecca’s research investigates how risk factors from across the life course influence cardiovascular ageing and development of CVD. With a background in statistics, Rebecca is also interested in the methodology for the analysis of life course data and for cross-cohort comparisons. She has co-authored several of the key texts in life course epidemiology.