Obesity is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic status in Canada and around the world. In April 2009, 7 Canadian obesity experts convened to discuss the challenges of raising public awareness of the health issues associated with obesity and the limited access to evidence-based obesity treatment. The panel identified several important challenges to effective management of obesity, including education, access to evidence-based therapies and behavioural support. The public, as well as health care professionals and health care policy makers, must understand that obesity is not a lifestyle issue, but rather a chronic disease that requires ongoing sustainable intervention. The panel agreed that there is a need for safe, proven pharmacotherapies, as well as a need to dispel the myths around non-evidence-based treatments. The panel concluded that pharmacists and other health care professionals are well placed and should be encouraged to provide ongoing behavioural support as well as education about the disease and the role of evidence-based treatments in obesity management.