Skip to content
Raising the bar for excellence in CBT. Enroll in Beck Institute CBT Certification today!

What are the symptoms of obesity?

Obesity is a major public health concern and is defined as a disease of excess body fat, with secondary adverse health effects. The most common way to diagnose overweight or obesity is to calculate body mass index (BMI). BMI is a height and weight ratio, and is considered a good gauge of risk for diseases that occur with excess body fat.

How common is obesity?1

Obesity is considered to be an epidemic in the United States and throughout the world. Currently, approximately one third of US adults are obese.

What is CBT for obesity like?

For all disorders, the CBT therapist starts by educating clients about their diagnosis and about CBT, helps clients set goals, and teaches clients essential thinking and behavioral skills. When working with clients with obesity, the CBT therapists puts special emphasis on maladaptive thoughts and behaviors leading to unhealthy lifestyle habits. As obesity is a complex problem, it is best treated by a multifaceted approach. For example, clients may require the help of a registered dietician. Exercise, given the client is medically capable of physical activity, is an important component of weight loss and weight maintenance programs. The Beck Diet Solution and Diet Trap Solution can teach dieters a cognitive behavioral approach to weight loss and maintenance.

For health and mental health professionals

Learn to treat obesity more effectively at our CBT for Weight Loss and Maintenance workshop. 1Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Curtin, L. R., McDowell, M. A., Tabak, C. J., & Flegal, K. M. (2006). Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, 1999-2004. Jama295(13), 1549-1555.