An estimated 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese, a condition that substantially raises their risk of morbidity from hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, and endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers.1 Higher body weights are also associated with increases in all-cause mortality. Obese individuals may also suffer from social stigmatization and discrimination. As a major contributor to preventive death in the United States today, overweight and obesity pose a major public health challenge.
Expert Panel on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Executive Summary of the Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(17):1855–1867. doi:10.1001/archinte.158.17.1855