More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults and 17% of youth in the U.S. are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For adults, that means they have a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30.
Do you know your BMI? You can easily calculate it at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website – www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable deaths, according to the CDC.
The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity prevalence in youth or adults between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. Obesity prevalence remains high and thus it is important to continue surveillance, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Other statistics on obesity from the CDC:
Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8%)
Obesity is higher among middle age adults, 40-59 years old (39.5%) than among younger adults, age 20-39 (30.3%) or adults over 60 or above (35.4%) adults.
Among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men, those with higher incomes are more likely to have obesity than those with low income.
Higher income women are less likely to have obesity than low-income women.
There is no significant relationship between obesity and education among men. Among women, however, there is a trend—those with college degrees are less likely to have obesity compared with less educated women.