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Ten years ago, the report ‘Tackling obesities: future choices’1 was published. Commissioned under the then Labour government and prepared by the Foresight group within the Government Office for Science, it framed obesity as an emergent outcome of a complex system. This approach makes clear that there are multiple complex interacting influences on weight status—many of which lie outside the direct control of individuals or the health sector—that both drive and are driven by socioeconomic and other inequalities.
The Foresight report has had a far-reaching impact on both obesity science and policy since its publication, and remains highly influential, with 60% of its citations occurring in the last 4 years.i The report has yet to be superseded in its scope of examining the underlying causes of obesity, encompassing a broad range of influences including individual, social, psychological, economic, commercial and environmental factors. A complex systems approach accounts …
↵i According to Google Scholar.
Contributors NS derived the original idea for this editorial. All authors made important intellectual contributions to the final manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.