One-third of all Americans have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. That is the relationship of your weight to your height. Thirty or over means you are obese. Programs to guide people through weight control programs will soon be available to all.
Experts say the effort should include counseling sessions. Weight loss goals, information about nutrition, and ways to monitor what you eat are all part of the program. And often, exercise is part of the program.
Obesity increases the chances of diabetes and heart disease problems. The cost of obesity and related diseases is about $147 billion a year.
Doctors and health workers need to be trained as well. Many patients say doctors never told them they had to lose weight. Doctors say patients are sensitive about their weight and may not want to discuss their need to lose weight.
An expert said many doctors do not know where to send patients for weight loss programs. Even with new funding there is no clear direction to go, but patients are urged to talk to their doctors.