Obesity is a metabolic illness with many factors playing a role. With two thirds of people living in western society now overweight or obese as defined by body mass index (BMI), this represents a huge burden, not only personally on obese individuals themselves, but also on society as a whole. This is clearly a 'modern' condition brought about by modern living conditions relating to many factors, but predominantly relating to food choices and a general lack of physical activity, compared to previous generations.

The main problem is that so many approaches to losing weight have centred on only one part of the equation - generally either the exercise component or the limiting food consumption component - a conventional 'diet'. Instead what is required is a holistic approach combining many different factors. What's more, many people with weight issues - and often the health professionals treating them - do not have enough knowledge to put together an effective program to treat obesity and excess body weight.

Of the two major factors - food consumption and amount of physical exercise - the most important is food consumption. And not just the amount of food we eat and what we choose to eat - one of the most important factors in allowing our body to use food consumed effectively, is when we eat. An appreciation of this concept is absolutely fundamental to an understanding of how to both prevent and treat obesity.