Overweight and obesity are the most common medical problems seen in primary care practice, affecting over 60% of adults and 15.5% of adolescents [1,2]. The rising prevalence of obesity among adults, paralleled by an increasing prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents, is one of the most significant threats to our nation's health as we enter the twenty-first century. According to the Surgeon General's Call to Action , obesity is a major cause of preventable death, which now accounts for approximately 365,000 deaths per year resulting from an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity . Obesity affects nine organ systems and is linked to the most prevalent and costly medical problems seen in daily practice. This chapter will review obesity and the nutritional, pharmacologic and surgical treatment strategies.
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