Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What’s the difference between being obese and being overweight?
    Being overweight simply means weighing more than what is considered to be healthy. Being obese, on the other hand, means having too much body fat. Having a body mass index, or BMI, between 25.0 and 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30.0 and above is considered obese.

  2. I’m struggling with obesity or overweight. Should I join one of those weight loss programs advertised on TV?
    The key to losing weight is achieving a calorie deficit with a combination of diet and exercise. You don’t have to pay for a weight loss program to achieve this calorie deficit, but these programs can be helpful for keeping you on track with your goals and offering support.

    However, it’s important to remember that even after you reach your weight loss goal, maintaining a healthy combination of diet and exercise is necessary to keep the weight off. This means that controlling obesity is often a lifelong commitment. You may want to keep this in mind when you’re considering a weight loss program that costs money. There are several groups and networks offering encouragement, support, and accountability that you can join for free. Check with your provider for a list of helpful resources in your area.

  3. Diet and exercise aren’t working for me. What else can I do to treat obesity?
    For some people, diet and exercise may not be enough to achieve the desired weight loss and improve health. If this is true for you, your provider may prescribe a weight-loss medication such as orlistat, lorcaserin, or phentermine/topiramate extended-release. Even if your provider prescribes a weight-loss medication, diet and exercise remain crucial to treating your obesity.

    If diet, exercise, and medication are not enough to achieve the desired weight loss and improve your health, your provider may recommend a bariatric procedure, which is a type of surgery that causes weight loss. There are several different bariatric procedures, and each has its benefits and risks. Check with your provider if you think you might be a candidate for bariatric surgery.

  4. I’ve heard that more and more people are being diagnosed obese or overweight. Why is obesity becoming more common?
    There are several contributing factors to the growing problem of obesity. Unhealthy diet and inactivity are the biggest risk factors for obesity, and unfortunately, these are common in our culture.

    Restaurants, fast food places, and supermarkets often sell food that is high in calories, fat, and sugar, and they often sell portions that are much too large for a single person. The availability and affordability of oversized, unhealthy foods is a major factor in America’s obesity problem.

    Sit-down entertainment such as television, computers, video games, smartphones, and tablets has drastically increased in recent decades. This increase translates to a decrease in physical activity, which means many people aren’t getting enough exercise. Another reason many people aren’t getting enough exercise is a lack of access to safe and affordable places for physical recreation. The overabundance of sit-down entertainment and insufficient access to physical recreation is another major factor in the growing problem of obesity in this country.

  5. What’s so bad about being obese? What will happen if I don’t treat my obesity?
    Obesity is associated with a number of other serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, sleep disorders, liver disease, pregnancy problems, bone and joint problems, and certain types of cancer. The longer you go without treating obesity, the greater your risk of developing one of these other conditions. In addition, medical costs for those who are obese are significantly higher than costs for people who maintain a healthy weight. Obesity has also been linked to social isolation and depression, especially in children. For all these reasons, it’s important to treat obesity sooner rather than later.