To tackle the obesity crisis, efforts for developing drug treatments are being advocated by experts.
According to Joseph Proietto, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne, it is believed that problem of obesity can be overcome by persuading people to eat less and exercise more. However, that is not the case.
He insists though lifestyle modifications can help shed weight, this could lead to hormonal changes in the body that make people struggle to maintain their new size.
It is "absolutely essential" to develop drugs to help people keep the weight off, he said.
"We have to counter these hormonal changes that occur," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Proietto as saying.
"Developing safe and effective drug therapies that can be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle interventions may be essential if we are to really make inroads into the problem," said Margaret Morris, a professor of pharmacology at the University of NSW.
Preventative measures would not work in every case. Despite the best of intentions, "some people will still become obese", she said.
However, developing drugs for obesity was a very slow and expensive process, Professor Morris said, because they had to have minimal side effects.