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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2015, Article ID 217808, 9 pages
Research Article

Optimal Intervention Strategies for the Spread of Obesity

1Department of Mathematics Education, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea
2Department of Mathematics, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Republic of Korea

Received 16 March 2015; Accepted 3 June 2015

Academic Editor: Zhen Jin

Copyright © 2015 Chunyoung Oh and Masud M A. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study considers a deterministic compartmental model for obesity dynamics. The model exhibits forward bifurcation at basic reproduction number, , that is; for , obesity is not sustained. However for the model approaches a locally asymptotically stable endemic equilibrium. To control this epidemic and reduce the obesity at the endemic equilibrium, we considered intervention strategies for the spread of overweight and obesity, where Pontryagin’s Maximum Principle is applied. The numerical technique was used to show that there are effective control strategies that include minimizing the social contact rate with the overweight and obese population and campaigning. Numerical results indicated the effects of the two controls (prevention and education/campaigning) to be different. In societies with lower obesity, the social contact rate with the overweight and obese population plays a more prominent role in spreading obesity than lack of educational programs/campaigns. However, for societies with very high obesity burden, education/campaigning proved to be highly effective strategies. Reducing the social contact rate can result in other results such as a depression and an invasion of their individual rights. The appropriate approach to obesity is needed to lower obese societies.