Obesity is defined as excess body weight contained in the adipose tissue of the body. This condition is considered a disease that affects nearly 127 million adults in the United States. It is the direct or contributing cause of nearly 300,000 deaths yearly, with many of those deaths associated with cardio vascular, colorectal cancer, organ disease or relating to diabetic complications. It is suggested that obesity in women contributes to breast cancer, as well as fertility complications brought about by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Socially speaking, persons of obese body type, regardless of laws of protection against certain discriminations, suffer none the less from prejudicial attitudes. Also, the emphasis on slenderness in western culture adds to a more subtle type of discrimination that, even though it may not be voiced, is still present and damaging to those persons suffering from an obesity condition.

The cause of an individual's obesity can be genetic; glandular, such as hypothyroidism or pituitary problems; eating disorder based, such as binge or overeating related to psychological or emotional difficulties; certain medications that slow metabolism, or diabetes and other related blood or hormonal problems, as well as poor food choices due to lack of education or financial stability. It has been suggested that low cost food contains a higher percentage of calories due to processing techniques than other types of food that are more costly and are processed less or not at all.

Many insurance companies will not cover costs related to weight loss or may add extra costs to the coverage of persons with an obesity condition. Many surgical procedures relating to reduction of weight are not covered by medical insurance plans, and suppressants of appetites prescribed by physicians have been excluded by up to 80% of medical plans. There are no laws that state mandatory coverage for medically necessary surgery, especially in cases where surgery is necessary for obesity.

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