March 25, 2022

Obesity research

Our researchers have published more than 600 articles related to obesity since 2007. Together, these articles have been cited 20,800 times.

Obesity is a common but serious health condition defined by high weight relative to a person’s height. Weight-to-height ratios are measured using the BMI (or body mass index) scale. In general, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered a healthy weight. BMIs in the range of 25 to 29.9 are classified as overweight, and BMIs of 30 or greater are classified as obese.1 According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 42% of U.S. adults are obese,2 and obesity prevalence among children age 2 to 19 is 18.5%.3

KP publications related to obesity since 2007

KP publications related to obesity since 2007: 684 journal articles, 37,282 citations, 91 citations in PubMed guidelines

Obesity is an active area of study for Kaiser Permanente Research. Scientists across the organization have used our rich, comprehensive, longitudinal data to advance knowledge in the areas of understanding risk, improving patient outcomes, and translating research findings into policy and practice. We have published more than 680 articles related to obesity since 2007.4 Together, these articles have been cited over 37,000 times.

These articles are the product of observational studies, randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and other studies led by Kaiser Permanente scientists. Our unique environment — a fully integrated care and coverage model in which our research scientists, clinicians, medical groups, and health plan leaders collaborate — lets us contribute generalizable knowledge on obesity, and many other research topics.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Defining Adult Overweight and Obesity. 2016. Accessed July 30, 2018.
  2. Hales CM, Carroll MD, Fryar CD, Ogden CL. Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2017-2018. NCHS Data Brief. 2020(360):1-8.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood Obesity Facts. 2018. Accessed July 30, 2018.
  4. Kaiser Permanente Publications Library (KPPL) Search conducted on November 29, 2021 using search term: (dc.title:BMI OR dc.title:obese OR dc.title:obesity OR dc.title:overweight OR dc.subject.mesh:obesity) AND dc.type:”Journal Article” AND[2007 2022].