BACKGROUND: The incidence of obesity is acutely increasing resulting in increased mortality rate and medical expenses among Koreans. But it is rare to find effective obesity management program, that are readily accessible by general local community residents. This study was aimed to develop and evaluate an effective and specialized obesity management program utilizing the local public health institutes. METHODS: One hundred forty nine obese adults residing in Kwangju were enrolled in a tentative, 12-week scheduled obesity management program from August 2006 to October 2006. The program constituted of weekly education and practice by specialists, and exercise for more than an hour for 5 days a week. The effectiveness of the program was evaluated according to the change of body weight, body component, blood pressure, and serum lipid concentration. After the program was completed, each participant was surveyed on the degree of satisfaction and lifestyle changes. RESULTS: Ninety participants (60.4%) completed the program to the end. The average decrement of body weight after the program was 1.9+/-1.5 kg. Eleven participants (12.2%) lost more than 5% of the initial body weight. The waist circumference and average blood pressure significantly decreased among the group who lost more than 5% of the initial body weight. The total cholesterol and triglycerides also slightly decreased among this group. Overall 87.3% of the participants were satisfied with the results of the program. The lifestyle of the participants had also changed by the program. CONCLUSION: The authors expect that establishing easily- approachable obesity management program in local public health institutes will make a great contribution to the maintenance of proper body weight and decrement of cardiovascular diseases among local community residents.