The best way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. But as a strategy to combat obesity at the population level, this common-sense prescription is proving ineffective over the long term. Tailored treatment programmes that factor in the stresses and temptations of the real world, using insights from behavioural research, are showing some success. Drugs may also form part of the solution. Or perhaps the pharmaceutical option should be a last resort, and society should instead use the power of government regulation to encourage healthier lifestyle options.
• Tony Scully
Nature 508, S49 (17 April 2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/508S49a