During the past several decades, obesity has increased substantially, making it a true epidemic and a public health crisis that both health care providers and the public are going to have to face. Currently, 61% of the US population is overweight or obese and therefore at increased risk for a number of diseases that are associated with increased body fat. Indeed, the obesity epidemic already is leading to dramatic increases in type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. Almost a quarter of the population currently has metabolic syndrome, which places them at high risk for the development of coronary heart disease. The future of the general health of the US population depends on identifying and providing the best treatment and prevention strategies for obesity in the years ahead.