The fastest growing number one health problem in the world is obesity. Obesity is contributing to an increased risk of other diseases and putting a strain on national health budgets. Please find below some concerning facts and figures related to obesity:
- About 17% of medical costs in the US are due to obesity and its related diseases, totaling an estimated $168 billion per year.
- Obesity adds about $2,800 to a person’s medical bills annually.
- An estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the US each year are caused by obesity.
- One third of US adults are obese, indicating a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
- If an 18-year-old remains obese throughout their adulthood, it will cost them $550,000.
- 80% of cases of Type 2 diabetes are related to obesity. The rate of diabetes has doubled in eight states since 1995.
- 70% of heart disease is obesity-related.
- Low-income women are more likely to become obese than high-income women. Over 33% of people earning less than $15,000 annually are obese, as opposed to a 24.6% rate of obesity in those earning $50,000 or more.
- The highest rates of obesity are found among non-Hispanic African Americans (44.1%), followed by Mexican-Americans (39.3%), Hispanics (37.9%) and non-Hispanic whites (32.6%). Asians have the lowest rate of obesity at 16.7%.
- In the last 30 years childhood obesity has tripled, from 6.5% in children aged 6 to 11 years to 19.6% today. The obesity rate in teenagers aged 12 to 19 years has increased from 5% to 18.1%.
- Of children who are overweight at age 10-15, 80% will be obese as adults.
- As a percentage of the population, the US has the highest number of obese people (33.9%), followed by Mexico (24%), the UK (23%), Slovakia (22.4) and Greece (22%).
- College graduates have an obesity rate of 20.8%, which is lower than the 29.5% rate of those who have only graduated high school.
- Obesity begins to decline after age 60. The population of those over age 69 has an obesity rate of 20.5%.
- The rate of obesity is increasing in the US. In 2007 only one state had an overall obesity rate of over 30%. In 2011, 12 states had a greater than 30% obesity rate.
- 40% of obese Americans aged 50 to 84 have osteoarthritis of the knee, caused by the wear and tear to the joints from excess weight stress. One extra pound of weight is equivalent to four pounds of stress on the knee.
Good health is a combination of many factors including your nutrition, preventative care, appropriate corrective care and the small choices you make every day in the course of living. If you have questions about this article, your general or spinal health, please ask.
We look forward to helping you!
For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam