Standard Article

Weight Control

  1. Jessica M. Cronce,
  2. Marlene B. Schwartz

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy1036

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Cronce, J. M. and Schwartz, M. B. 2010. Weight Control. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Yale University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Obesity has become a global epidemic, with the highest prevalence rates occurring in the United States and other Westernized cultures. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 32% of American adults are obese (with a Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2) and an additional 34% are overweight (with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 kg/m2). The prevalence of overweight children has more than doubled in the last 20 years. Paradoxically, this has occurred while there have been major scientific, medical, and commercial efforts to develop effective means of weight control. One limitation is that these methods have been based on a medical model that emphasizes behavioral interventions for individuals. More recently, obesity has come to be considered a public health crisis that demands broader social interventions. This article highlights advances in treating obesity, the important issue of stigma, and suggested areas for public policy research.


  • obesity;
  • self-help;
  • medication;
  • surgery;
  • stigma