Obesity Rates & Trends Overview Introduction
People with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are considered obese. The term “obesity” is used to describe the health condition of anyone significantly above his or her ideal healthy weight. Don’t be discouraged by the term. It simply means you are 20% or more above your ideal weight, and you are not alone.
Nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese. Being obese puts you at a higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.
Seven in 10 American Adults Are Overweight or Obese
The findings of the GBD investigators are an impressive and essential effort to provide policymakers with both global and country-specific estimates that most countries alone lack. However, some of the modeling assumptions in the current report might obscure important variation in both the threats and the successes underlying the obesity epidemic. First, the assumption that the risk of outcomes at any given level of obesity is uniform across populations could skew morbidity estimates. For example, at any given level of BMI, Asians have been shown to have a higher absolute risk of diabetes and hypertension and African Americans to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than other groups. Once chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease develop, the associated relative risk of death may vary according to location — as was recently seen in Mexico, where the relative risk of death associated with diabetes far exceeds that in the United States and Europe. Second, there may be important, missed variation in the high end of the BMI distribution, which disproportionately drives the development of type 2 diabetes and other coexisting illnesses. In some regions, the high prevalence of severe obesity may persist even when levels of overweight and obesity appear to plateau. Finally, global findings only hint at some of the actual successes in prevention that may finally be under way. In the United States, the past decade has brought an apparent peak and plateau in the prevalence of obesity and diagnosed diabetes, decreases in the intake of overall calories and of sugared beverages, and increasing levels of physical activity. Similarly, more communities in the United States now report reductions in the incidence of childhood obesity and adult type 2 diabetes.
Overweight and obesity in adulthood is associated with many serious physiological, psychological, and social consequences, as listed below. Given these health and social consequences, it should not be surprising that obesity has serious economic consequences as well. The annual medical costs alone have been estimated as high as $190 billion (in 2005 dollars) – 21 percent of all medical spending (Cawley & Meyerhoefer, 2012).
Introduction | The Obesity Epidemic
When defining overweight in children and adolescents, it's important to consider both weight and body composition. Among American children ages 2–19, the following percentages of children are obese, using the 95th percentile or higher of body mass index (BMI) values on the CDC growth chart:
America's Obesity Epidemic Reaches Record High, New …
“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents."
Childhood Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC
The prevalence of obesity (BMI-for-age values at or above the 95th percentile of the 2000 CDC growth charts in children ages 2-5 increased from 4.8 percent in 1971-74 to 12.1 percent in 2009-2010. For 6–11 year old children, the prevalence of obesity increased from 4.0 percent in 1971–74 to 18.0 percent in 2009–10. The prevalence of overweight in adolescents ages 12–19 increased from 6.1 percent to 18.4 percent.
Obesity Information - American Heart Association
And excess weight is associated with earlier risk of obesity-related disease and death in adulthood.. Perhaps one of the most sobering statements regarding the severity of the childhood obesity epidemic came from former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who characterized the threat as follows:
What percentage of Americans are overweight? | …
The American Heart Association recommends obese patients participate in a medically supervised weight loss program two or three times a month for at least six months.