Weight Management | Adult Obesity

Over one third of adults in the United States are obese. This epidemic puts obese adults at risk for serious diseases and health conditions. Your doctor can help choose a treatment option that will work best for your current condition and weight loss goals.

Adult obesity

An adult is considered obese if body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. Obesity can put people at risk for serious diseases. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that over one third of adults in the United States are obese.

Causes of obesity

Weight gain is often caused by eating more calories than are burned through activity and exercise, on a long-term basis. Other factors sometimes contributing to an unhealthy weight are:

  • Inactive lifestyle

  • Diet of foods high in calories and fat

  • Lack of sleep

  • Genetics

  • Aging

  • Medical conditions

Health conditions related to obesity

Obesity can lead to serious health conditions and diseases, including:

  • Diabetes

  • Arthritis

  • Cancer (breast, colon and endometrial)

  • Fatty liver disease

  • Gallbladder disease

  • Heart disease

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Infertility

  • Sleep apnea

  • Stroke

Treatment options for obesity

Your doctor can help you choose a treatment option that will work best for your current condition and weight loss goals. Your doctor may recommend that you also work with a dietitian, therapist or other professionals in the healthcare field to help reach your weight loss goals.


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Lifestyle changes can help with weight loss

Making healthy changes

Lifestyle and behavior changes, such as making improvements to your diet and becoming more active can help lower weight. Talk to your primary care provider. Your provide may refer you to a dietitian.


    Medication can aid in weight loss

    When is medication prescribed for weight loss?


    Your doctor may prescribe a weight loss medication in combination with healthy eating and exercise plans. Weight loss medications are only used if you have a BMI of 27 or higher, have obesity-related health issues, and other weight loss methods have not been effective.



    Weight loss surgery is an option after other methods fail

    Am I candidate for weight-loss surgery?


    Your doctor will only recommend weight loss surgery if you have a BMI of 40 or higher, or have a BMI of 35-39.9 and a serious obesity-related health issue. Surgery options include:

    • Biliopancreatic diversion

    • Gastric bypass surgery

    • Gastric sleeve

    • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB)



    Getting help in the MaineHealth system of care

    MaineHealth is committed to lowering levels of obesity

    MaineHealth has made preventing and reducing obesity levels a top priority.


    Talk with your doctor about your options for weight loss. We are committed to helping our patients reach their weight loss goals and be as healthy as they can be.


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