Obesity is a major international public health problem and Americans are among the heaviest people in the world. The percentage of obese people in the United States rose steadily until 2003, after which time the percentage has remained unacceptably high.
Many people find that although they initially lose weight by dieting, they quickly regain the weight after the diet ends. Because it so hard to keep weight off over time, it is important to have as much information and support as possible before starting a diet. You are most likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off when you believe that your body weight can be controlled.
Some people like to talk to their health care professional to get help choosing the best plan, monitoring progress, and getting advice and support along the way.
To know what treatment (or combination of treatments) will work best, determine your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (measurement). The BMI is calculated from your height and weight (calculator 1 and calculator 2).
A waist circumference greater than 35 inches (88 cm) in women and 40 inches (102 cm) in men increases the risk of obesity-related complications, such as heart disease and diabetes. People who are obese and who have a larger waist size may need more aggressive weight loss treatment than others. Talk to your health care professional for advice.