The challenge of obesity

Obesity atffects around 13% of the world's adult population1. Despite being linked to other serious diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer2, obesity is not always seen as a serious chronic disease and treatment options are limited. People living with obesity may also experience stigmatisation because of their weight. This weight bias may be encountered in the workplace, at school, and even in the doctor’s office, which could lead to additional physical and mental health problems

Today, Novo Nordisk is working to change the way people living with obesity are viewed, treated and cared for.

Understanding obesity


Obesity is complex. Its main cause is an imbalance between energy consumed as food, and the way the body uses this energy – but this is only part of the story.

The development of obesity is influenced by a combination of factors both inside and outside the body, including genetics, changes in a person’s metabolism, lifestyle and even how and where a person lives. 


Learn more about obesity


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Treating obesity

Treating obesity

Obesity is a serious chronic disease – but it can be treated. And even small reductions in weight can reduce the risk of additional complications and improve overall wellbeing.

Depending on individual needs, obesity treatments may include counselling, anti-obesity medications or surgery – in addition to diet and exercise


Explore obesity treatments


Living with obesity

Living with obesity means facing challenges on many levels. From finding clothes that look good, to using public transport, to living with furniture that wasn't designed with the larger customer in mind. But perhaps the most difficult challenge of all is the prejudice that people with obesity experience on a daily basis.

Ill-informed attitudes about weight often lead to stigmatisation from employers, friends and family, and even healthcare professionals. This can lead to discrimination and significantly impact an individual's income, educational opportunities, health care quality, emotional health and ability to manage obesity.


Learn more about weight bias and stigma


Living with obesity top image


My obesity journey: from comfort eater to plus size model!

To get an inside view on living with obesity, read Vicki Mooney's blog post and listen to the podcast.


Listen to the podcast

Read Vicki's blog post


The science behind obesity

Did you know that the human body naturally resists weight loss3? This is why maintaining weight loss for more than one year is so challenging, and why diet and exercise alone are not always enough.

Explore the science behind obesity


The science behind obesity

A serious chronic disease that demands innovative new treatments

Despite the fact that there is now a better understanding of the science behind obesity, medical treatment options remain limited. At Novo Nordisk, our scientists are working to develop new medicines that target the unmet needs of people living with this serious chronic disease.


Glimpse our research in future obesity treatments


A serious chronic disease that demands innovative new treatments

Treating obesity

Putting people at the heart of innovation

Volunteer to take part in a Novo Nordisk clinical trial, and you’ll be helping our researchers discover more about new treatments that could one day benefit millions of people worldwide. You’ll also learn about managing your own weight and health.


Discover the benefits of clinical trial participation