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Obesity and Overweight




Noncommunicable diseases




Gain the knowledge to help reduce obesity and promote a healthy lifestyle and society.

In this POLHN self-paced program, you will learn about how WHO defines obesity by BMI, the fundamental causes of obesity and overweight, as well as the consequences.

This course begins with the presentation of key facts regarding obesity and overweight. Next, you will learn how obesity is a disease and the best strategies for its reduction. Finally, WHO responses to obesity are discussed. 

This self-paced online course caters to the needs of the health workers by enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the global epidemic of overweight and obesity. This includes statistical insights, causative factors, short- and long-term health implications, preventive strategies and management strategies of this global health and lifestyle problem. Moreover, the course also provides information from the perspective of the Pacific island countries (PICs).

This course covers:

  • What is overweight and obesity;
  • The causes and consequences of obesity and overweight in children and adults;
  • Global statistics regarding the issue;
  • Obesity and associated problems in the PICs;
  • Health risks associated with overweight and obesity
  • Strategies for the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices; and
  • Obesity prevention strategies.

Module - 1: Overweight and Obesity - General Description
This module provides an introduction to the topic of overweight and obesity. It covers the tools for measurement of body fat such as body mass index (BMI), abdominal obesity and apple/pear-shaped bodies. It also looks at causative factors, including diet, physical inactivity, sleep patterns, TV viewing time, genetic associations, family history, prenatal and early life (postnatal) influences, community barriers and diseases and drugs.
Module - 2: Quick Statistics from Around the Globe
This section presents factsheets from around the globe regarding the extent and prevalence of overweight and obesity.
Module - 3: Obesity in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs)
This part covers the extent of the problem in the context of the PICs, including patterns of nutrition transition and factors that contribute to the increasing incidence of the overweight and obesity.
Module - 4: Childhood Overweight and Obesity
As the name indicates, module 4 discusses childhood overweight and obesity. This includes short- and long-term implications for child health, causative factors and facts about the prevalence of obesity in children under 5 years of age as well as aged between 5 and 19 years.
Module - 5: Adult Overweight and Obesity
This module focuses on the classification of obesity in adults and international classification of adult underweight, over weight and obesity.
Module - 6: Health Risks Associated with Overweight and Obesity
This section contains information regarding the health risks associated with overweight and obesity. This module also explains the double burden of disease and diabetes.

Pacific NCDs and Health Through the Life course

POLHN has dedicated public health professionals in its DPS research team who have decade long experiences in Health Security and Emergencies, NCDs and Health Through the Life course, and Health System
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Course Questions & Answers

Can't find the answers you're looking for? Get in touch with POLHN! Contact us here and we will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.
Yes, this course has recommended and additional readings. These can all be easily accessed on Moodle.
There is no time limit for completing this IPC self-paced course. POLHN recommends spending about 4 hours per week over the period of 6 weeks.
Once you enrol yourself into this course on Moodle you will have access to all the lectures and assignments.
Once you successfully complete your course by completing all the modules and passing all the assessment, your certificate will be automatically generated and sent to your email. You can also access all your certificates through our digital certification system here: If you are having any problems accessing your certificate, simply email us at and we will help you.

Study Material

This self-paced course has been designed in a manner that enhances understanding of the core concepts and provides easy to access learning materials. The course uses a range of study material such as pre-recorded videos, lecture slides, quizzes and assignments, and is developed by a team of dedicated health education experts.

Getting Help

Connect with other students through the discussion forum, where you can easily discuss the course or debate the ideas. Need more help? Your instructors are also available online to answer any questions you might have.

Extend Your Career with a Verified Certificate

POLHN self-paced courses are recognised by Pacific Ministries of Health. Once you have successfully completed the course, you will receive an official certificate. This certificate can be used for credit to gain CPD points.

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This course helps in enhancing understanding of overweight and obesity, covering statistical insights, causative factors, broad-term health implications, preventive strategies and management of lifestyle problems.

Obesity and Overweight

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