An estimated 64% of the adult population in the United States is either overweight or obese. Because obesity affects such a large percentage of the population and carries with it numerous health risks, it is essential that physicians treat obesity and encourage healthy-weight maintenance within the primary care setting. Effective weight management will require providing the appropriate physical environment for the overweight or obese patient, properly evaluating the impact of a patient's weight on health, evaluating a patient's readiness to change, setting appropriate weight-loss goals, and providing information and help about how to modify dietary and physical activity patterns. Achieving and maintaining weight loss is more likely to be successful when there is a physician-patient partnership where the physician provides support and motivation for the patient's efforts to initiate and maintain a healthy body weight. Copyright © 2002 NAASO.