Obesity is an American epidemic. Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for a number of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and respiratory disorders. The risk of developing these diseases is even higher when weight is concentrated near the waist (belly fat).

Obesity is an increasing problem. According to the National Institutes of Health, 60% of American adults are overweight and 35% are considered obese, while about 25% of American children are overweight or obese. And the numbers are rising. In fact, if current trends continue, more than half of American adults are likely to be obese by 2030. Taking weight off, and keeping it off, is difficult. Many people who lose weight later gain back some or all of the excess pounds.

Despite continuing research on obesity, there are no medicines, herbs, or supplements that can help you lose a significant amount of weight, and all have some side effects. The only way to lose weight is to reduce the amount of calories you eat and increase your activity level. These actions improve your health in many ways, in addition to helping you lose weight.

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Review Date: 3/24/2015  

Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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