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Obesity and Overweight

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

Key Features of the Course

After the completion of this course, the students shall be able to understand:

  • What is overweight and obesity (according to BMI and other measures)
  • The causes and consequences of obesity and overweight in both children and adults
  • Global statistics involved
  • Obesity and associated problems in the Pacific Island countries (PICs)
  • Health risks associated with overweight and obesity
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyle choices
  • Strategies for the prevention of obesity


Module 1 provides an introduction to the topic of overweight and obesity, tools for measurement of the body fat e.g. body mass index (BMI), abdominal obesity, apple/pear-shaped bodies, the causative factors (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 presents the factsheets from around the globe, regarding the extent and prevalence of overweight and obesity.
Module 3 includes information regarding the extent of the problem in the context of the Pacific Island countries (PICs), patterns of nutrition transition, factors that contribute to the increasing incidence of the overweight and obesity .
As the name indicates, module 4 investigates into the childhood overweight and obesity, and their short- and long-term implications for child health, causative factors, and the prevalence of obesity in children under 5 years of age, and the children aged between 5-19 years.
Module - 5: As the name indicates, module 5 explains about Overweight and Obesity in adults, classification of obesity and international classification of adult underweight /over weight & adult obesity.
Module - 6: Module 6 includes information regarding the health risks factors associated with overweight and obesity. This module also explains about double burden of disease, obesity and diabetes. 
Important: In order to access the completion certificate, the students need to complete the feedback, course evaluation and survey forms. Please click on the following links to submit these forms.

How It Works

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.

Course Questions & Answers

Course Summary

Course code: OO
Average module length: 30 minutes
Total course time: 3-4 hours
Number of modules: 6
Institution: World Health Organization
Subject: Noncommunicable diseases
Language: English
Mode: Self-paced
Status: Ongoing

Course Author

Pacific NCDs and Health Through the Life Course

Division of Pacific Technical Support

World Health Organisation | Division of Pacific Technical Support | Suva, Fiji

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 Systems.

Course Focal Point

Pacific NCDs and Health Through the Life Course

Technical Support

POLHN IT Support Team

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