Introduction to Weight Loss
An Epidemic Of Obesity
Obesity is epidemic in the United States. The number of overweight and obese Americans has grown at a disturbing rate, especially over the past few years, to the point where today more Americans are overweight than are normal weight. In fact, over sixty percent of Americans are now considered to be overweight, with over 30 percent of the population considered to be obese (e.g., overweight by more than 20-30% of recommended weight). These numbers describe a tragic public health situation. Being overweight increases a person’s risk of serious illness. A very large (and growing) percentage of citizens are at increased risk for developing serious chronic diseases, and face the prospect of early disability or death as the result of being overweight. Meanwhile the entire society struggles under the burden of the resulting increase in health care costs.