Understanding Obesity  

Understanding Obesity

Obesity Competence Center

Obesity (morbid overweight) is not only a health problem for the individual patient, but has also a societal dimension in Germany that requires new approaches to the treatment and prevention of the disease.

Health and economic implications of obesity

In addition to orthopedic and lung problems caused by overweight, obesity as a metabolic disorder increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and some cancers. In addition, obesity is associated with deterioration of the quality of life, unemployment, educational disadvantages and social isolation. Obesity creates a high economic burden, for example due to rising care costs and a reduction in socio-economic productivity. In Germany, with a prevalence of 24%, obesity already costs more than € 29 billion a year.

Biomedical research of obesity in Leipzig

Research into the mechanisms and treatment of obesity has been a focus of university research in Leipzig for many years. Building on strategic appointments in medicine and the life sciences, a diverse research landscape dedicated to the genesis, treatment, and prevention of the disease was created. Major topics of obesity research in Leipzig are e.g. genetic associations, metabolic disorders, mechanisms of fat accumulation and inflammation, the role of the brain in eating, and therapeutic interventions, including surgical procedures, for weight loss and maintenance.

The successful acquisition of the following collaborative projects consolidated the biomedical, clinical, and scientific infrastructure in Leipzig:

Collaboration with the social sciences and humanities

The research spectrum has been extended in recent years through cooperation with the humanities and social sciences in the project “Nutrition, Health and Social Order in Modern Societies” (funded by the Volkswagen Foundation). This intensified cooperation of a socio-cultural project on obesity with the CRC and IFB as well as other scientists led in 2017 to the foundation of the Competence Center Obesity, which represents an ideal platform for interdisciplinary research, scientific exchange, and strategic development of the University of Leipzig.

Aim: Center for integrative obesity in research

The aim is to build a Center for Integrative Obesity Research, which will expand the existing biomedical focus on disciplines such as economics, law, and the social sciences, and thus better meet the societal complexity of the broader phenomenon “obesity”. A first step in this is the cross-faculty application for a Cluster of Excellence “Understanding Obesity” .

last update: 12.04.2018 


Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) AdiposityDiseases
Anja Landsmann
Philipp-Rosenthal-Str. 27
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-15940