Weight loss programs and products are a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S., but a local expert says shedding a few pounds isn't as difficult as keeping them off.

Michael Hewitt is the research director for exercise science at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson.

He's also the guest speaker at the "Healthy Weight Philosophy" lecture to be presented by the University of Arizona Arthritis Center this week.

Hewitt's lecture will address weight loss facts, fads and fiction.

He'll also talk about the pitfalls of dieting and overeating and the benefits of exercise, which is an essential component of maintaining proper weight, he says.

"Exercise is critical," Hewitt says. "I'll go out on a limb and tell you in my 30 years of doing this kind of work I've yet to meet the first person who has permanently lost weight without physical activity."

The "Healthy Weight Philosophy" on Wednesday, July 11th, is part of the 2012 Living Healthy With Arthritis Monthly Lecture Series.

The free presentation is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 pm at Chase Bank Auditorium in the University of Arizona Medical Center, which is located at 1501 N. Campbell Avenue.

Prior registration is requested for the event. Seating will be limited.