by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Some steps to lower the risk of obesity are:

Eating a Balanced, Healthful Diet

Eating a balanced, healthful diet helps reduce the risk of obesity. The doctor or a dietitian can help people who:

  • Need help finding the right calories to reach and keep a healthy weight
  • Need guidance on healthful eating
  • Are on diets to treat other health problems

Other things that can help are:

  • Eating family meals.
  • Choosing drinks with few or no calories. For example, water would be a better choice than soda.
  • Learning how food is made. Foods cooked or seasoned with fat can have more calories.
  • Limiting eating out.
  • Choosing healthful foods when shopping.
  • Eating more whole foods rather than processed foods.
  • Cooking less food at mealtime and not bringing it all to the table.

Getting Regular Physical Activity

Regular physical activity has many benefits. It burns calories, keeps a person busy, and helps reduce health problems. It also raises metabolism after exercising. This helps burn more calories during the day, even at rest.

The doctor or a certified trainer can tailor a workout to a person's needs. There are many ways to get more physical activity. It could be walking more on errands, going to the gym, or doing things like biking, swimming, dancing, golf, or tennis.

Adults should aim for 150 minutes per week.

Finding Ways to Manage Stress and Feelings

Stress and feelings can play a role in eating habits. Unhelpful thought patterns that can get in the way of weight loss.

Counseling can help someone find out:

  • When they eat too much
  • Why they eat too much
  • How to stop eating too much

Sleeping Well

Lack of sleep can raise the risk of obesity. It helps to get at least 6 to 9 hours of sleep each night.


Dietary guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: Accessed May 9, 2022.

Obesity. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Accessed May 9, 2022.

Obesity in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed May 9, 2022.

Overweight and obesity prevention. Available at: Accessed May 9, 2022.

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