This paper analyzes the phenomenon of obesity, highlighting its environmental, cultural, economic and biological causes and its direct and indirect impacts on society.

The document underlines the importance of obesity prevention to improve life expectancy and quality of life among citizens, and the limitation of public expenditure on healthcare. It is increasingly evident that, given the extent and severity of the issue, the battle against overweight and obesity and therefore the promotion of appropriate lifestyles and food must form part of the political agenda of governments (national and supranational).

The tools at their disposal include: various forms of information, education, persuasion to raise individuals’ awareness of their behaviors (food and non-food) and their appropriacy; the availability of healthier consumption alternatives (or access to the healthier existing ones), and the conditions to combat a sedentary lifestyle; the imposition of rules or fiscal measures to discourage the consumption of certain products.