NIH News Release
National Institute of Diabetes
and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Monday, September 21, 1998

Leslie Curtis
(301) 496-3583

Your Health--The Reason to Control Your Weight

Approximately 97 million American adults are overweight. If you are one of them, you are more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, and certain types of cancer. However, these adverse health effects of being overweight may be minimized, according to a new, free consumer brochure from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Do You Know the Health Risks of Being Overweight? provides readers information about the health problems linked to being overweight. The brochure also outlines how people may prevent or reduce the negative effects of weighing more than they should by eating healthier and getting regular exercise.

"A loss of as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can make a difference in your overall health," says Susan Yanovski, M.D., director of the Obesity and Eating Disorders Program, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). "The key is a slow and steady weight loss of no more than 1 pound per week so that you minimize muscle loss."

The brochure, provided by the federally funded Weight-control Information Network (WIN), is free and can be obtained by calling WIN's toll-free number, 1-800-WIN-8098, or by visiting its website ( In addition to information on weight loss, WIN's toll-free number and website provide information on topics such as childhood obesity, choosing a safe and successful weight-loss program, weight cycling, and binge eating disorder.

In 1994, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the NIH, established WIN in response to the growing problem of overweight in the United States.