Obesity: a growing epidemic with overwhelming consequences.

ObesityOne out of three Americans is obese. Two thirds are overweight. Type-2 diabetes—thought to result from over nutrition and lack of exercise—is rising at an alarming rate. Recently, scientists have linked diabetes and other metabolic disorders to an increased risk for immune disorders, renal failure, heart disease and cancer.

Clearly, this epidemic is nearing dangerous proportions.

Our modern Western diet is the leading contributor to several severe metabolic conditions. Characterized by an over-consumption of energy-dense foods, the way we eat leads to an increase in adipose tissue, resulting in insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Once they arise, these conditions are difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.

The ONPRC has developed a high-fat diet obesity model in rhesus macaques that allows us to understand the full spectrum of obesity-related complications. With this innovative model, scientists can study the progression of obesity, isolate the early signs of its related conditions, and determine how to best treat and prevent this serious disease and its consequences.