Approximately 66% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. (Obesity is defined as being atleast 30 lbs. overweight according to the American Heart Association)
Approximately 31% of US children are obese or overweight.
Obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese as adults. For example, one study found that approximately 80% of children who were overweight at aged 10–15 years were obese adults at age 25 years. Another study found that 25% of obese adults were overweight as children. The latter study also found that if overweight begins before 8 years of age, obesity in adulthood is likely to be more severe.
Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as “overweight” and “obesity,”* the risks for the following conditions also increases:
Coronary heart disease
Type 2 diabetes
Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
Liver and Gallbladder disease
Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
National Estimated Cost of Obesity
According to a study of national costs attributed to both overweight (BMI 25–29.9) and obesity (BMI greater than 30), medical expenses accounted for 9.1 percent of total U.S. medical expenditures in 1998 and may have reached as high as $78.5 billion ($92.6 billion in 2002 dollars) (Finkelstein, Fiebelkorn, and Wang, 2003). Approximately half of these costs were paid by Medicaid and Medicare.
Obesity now poses as great a threat to Americansʼ quality of life as smoking. (USA Today)
Extreme obesity (Eighty pounds or more overweight) can shorten your life by 12 years. (USA Today)
The Caloric Balance Equation
Overweight and obesity result from an energy imbalance. This involves eating too many calories and not getting enough physical activity.
Body weight is the result of genes, metabolism, behavior, environment, culture, and socioeconomic status.
Behavior and environment play a large role causing people to be overweight and obese. These are the greatest areas for prevention and treatment actions.
Adapted from U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity, 2001
For additional information please visit the following link: