ABSTRACT • Background and aims : This paper aims to review the epidemiology of obesity and describe the available treatment with a focus in Lebanon over a 7-year period. Ultimately, accurate assessment of trends in the obesity epidemic in Lebanon allows to formulate policies to prevent and treat obesity. Methods : Articles published in English or French between 2010 and 2017 and reporting data about children, adolescents and adults were reviewed using the following keywords : obesity, epidemiology, treatment, pharmacology, non-pharmacology, Lebanon.

Results: Thirtynine eligible publications were identified including 12 review articles about obesity epidemiology and treatment. The first national study on obesity in Lebanon showed high prevalence rates in adults (20 years and older), with 53% being overweight and 17.4% being obese in 1997. Ten years later, another Lebanese study showed that the rate of obesity was 6.6% in a sample of 2,547 adolescents in 20 Lebanese public schools, and 20.5% were at risk of obesity. According to a 2011 report from the World Health Organization (WHO) about non-communicable diseases, Lebanese obesity rates were estimated at 27.4%: 25.8% in men and 29% in women. At present, the Lebanese results are lower than those reported in many Arab countries in the region, and also lower than estimates from the USA (17% among children and 36.5% among adults).

Conclusion: The prevalence of obesity increased over the last years. Efforts should be made to combat the health and economic burden of obesity in Lebanon.

Keywords: epidemiology; Lebanon; obesity; pharmacological treatment.


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