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Get the answers to weight-related questions you may have

No matter how successful you’ve been at managing your weight, you may have some questions. Below are answers that may help you in seeking treatment, understanding the science behind weight loss and weight regain, or planning for the next step.

What is weight management?

Weight management means focusing on achieving a healthier weight and maintaining it, avoiding weight regain over time. There are several options to consider when it comes to weight management, and what works for someone else might not work for you. To create your own weight-management plan, talk to your health care provider about how you can get started.

Why is weight management important?

Excess weight isn’t just a cosmetic issue; in fact, excess weight can have an impact on your health. Losing 5%-15% of your total weight can improve some weight-related conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and osteoarthritis. Talk with your health care provider to start your own weight-management plan today.

Is obesity a heart disease risk factor?

Living with excess weight or obesity is associated with risk factors for heart disease, like high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, or elevated blood sugar (type 2 diabetes). Living with obesity can also increase the risk of heart disease.

Learn more about the link between cardiovascular disease and excess weight.

How is the brain responsible for when and why you eat?

All day, your nervous system, which includes the brain, receives signals about your appetite from hormones that come from different parts of your body, like the stomach, intestines, and fat tissue. Both the brain and these appetite hormones contribute to what, why, and how much you eat. Learn more about the reasons why people eat and how appetite hormones can affect weight loss and weight regain here.

What are appetite hormones?

Appetite hormones help to regulate appetite in the body. These hormones, including ghrelin, PYY, CCK, GLP-1, amylin, insulin, and leptin, signal to the brain to help regulate appetite. After losing weight by reducing calories, levels of appetite hormones can change, and this may contribute to weight regain. The body’s response to weight loss can make weight management as challenging as actually losing the weight. Learn more about how appetite hormones work here.

What are healthy ways to manage my weight?

When it comes to weight loss and weight management, lifestyle changes like healthy eating and increased physical activity are important for everyone. But when lifestyle changes are not enough, there are multiple options, including prescription medicines that could help you reach your long-term goals.

What does an obesity care provider do?

Ongoing dialogue with a health care provider is an important part of a long-term weight management plan. He or she can provide new strategies and solutions that you might be interested in trying, including discussing medicines that can help. Use the Obesity Care Provider tool on this website to find a health care provider in your area.

Why do people regain weight?

Science now shows what many of us have long suspected: after losing weight, our body tries to put it back on. There are many factors that can cause people to gain or regain weight, including genetics, appetite hormones, environment, and behavior. After weight loss, changes in appetite hormones make you feel hungrier, and also slow down your metabolism. This response to weight loss can make maintaining weight as challenging as losing weight. Learn more about the science of weight loss to see why you may benefit from a weight-management plan.

What is body mass index (BMI)?

BMI is a screening tool based on height and weight that helps health care providers evaluate weight categories that may lead to health problems in their patients. There are 4 categories someone may be placed in based on their BMI: Underweight (BMI of 18.5 or less), normal weight (BMI of 18.5-24.9), overweight (BMI of 25-29.9), obesity (BMI of 30 or greater). Learn more about BMI or calculate your own BMI here.

What is considered overweight? What about obesity?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people with a BMI >25 are considered to be overweight, and people with a BMI >30 have obesity. Obesity is a treatable disease associated with excess weight. Obesity can be caused by multiple factors including genetics, appetite signals/hormones, environment, and behavior. Being considered overweight or having obesity can’t be determined by the number you see on a scale. To do this, you need to calculate your BMI using your height and weight. Use a BMI calculator to determine your current BMI, which can be a starting point in discussing weight-management options with your health care provider.

What is resting metabolic rate?

Your metabolism can be assessed in 2 ways—while resting and while active. Your resting metabolic rate determines how many calories your body burns when you are not active, and your active metabolic rate determines how your body burns calories while doing strenuous activity. If you have any questions talk to your health care provider at your next visit.

How can I find out if my treatment options are covered by my insurance?

Knowing how your insurance works and who to contact with coverage questions and concerns is an important step in establishing your weight-management plan. Get tips for understanding your insurance policy and exploring your coverage options.

Are there prescription medicines for weight loss?

In addition to lifestyle and behavioral changes, there are a number of medicines for weight loss, which are FDA-approved. These treatments have been studied in clinical trials. To find out whether they may be right for you, let your health care provider know you’re interested in starting a weight-management plan.


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