During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. Another third of all adults are in the overweight category.
Health Risks Of Obesity
Obesity increases the risk of a number of health conditions including hypertension, adverse lipid concentrations, and type 2 diabetes The prevalence of obesity in the United States increased during the last decades of the 20th century. More recently there appears to have been a slowing of the rate of increase or even a leveling off. Given the health risks of obesity and its high prevalence, it is important to continue to track the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults and children. This report presents the most recent national estimates of obesity in the United States based on measured weight and height.
Cost Of Obesity
In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
Childhood Obesity Facts
According to the Center’s for Disease Control:
Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors.3 Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.
Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance”—too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed—and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.
In 2010, one out of every three American children is obese or overweight.
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