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Obesity in the United States

The meaning of «obesity in the united states»

Obesity in the United States is a major health issue resulting in numerous diseases, specifically increased risk of certain types of cancer, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, as well as significant increases in early mortality and economic costs.

The CDC defines an adult (a person aged 20 years or greater) with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater as obese and an adult with a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 as overweight.[1] Obesity in adults is divided into three categories. Adults with a BMI of 30 to 34.9 have class 1 obesity; adults with a BMI of 35 to 39.9 have class 2 obesity; adults with a BMI of 40 or greater have class 3 obesity, which is also known as extreme or severe obesity.[2] Children (persons aged 2 to 19 years) with a BMI at or above the 95th percentile of children of the same age and sex are defined as obese, and children with a BMI at or above the 85th percentile but less than the 95th percentile are defined as overweight.[3]

Compared to non-obese Americans, obese Americans incur an average of $1,429 more in medical expenses annually, and the obese American population spends approximately $147 billion per year in added medical expenses.

The obesity rate has steadily increased since the initial 1962 recording of 23%. By 2014, figures from the CDC found that more than one-third (crude estimate 36.5%) of U.S. adults[4][5] and 17% of children were obese.[6] The National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC showed in their most up to date statistics that 42.4% of U.S. adults were obese as of 2017-2018 (43% for men and 41.9% for women).[7]

For the following statistics, adults is defined as age 20 and over. The overweight + obese percentages for the overall US population are higher reaching 39.4% in 1997, 44.5% in 2004,[8] 56.6% in 2007,[9] 63.8% (adults) and 17% (children) in 2008,;[10][11] in 2010 65.7% of American adults and 17% of American children are overweight or obese, and 63% of teenage girls become overweight by age 11.[12] In 2013 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that 57.6% of all American citizens were overweight or obese. The organization estimates that 3/4 of the American population will likely be overweight or obese by 2020.[13] According to research done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, it is estimated that around 40% of Americans are considered obese, and 18% are considered severely obese as of 2019. Severe obesity is defined as a BMI over 35 in the study. Their projections say that about 50% the US population will be considered obese and 25% will be considered severely obese by the year 2030.[14]

Obesity has been cited as a contributing factor to approximately 100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year[15] and has increased health care use and expenditures,[16][17][18][19] costing society an estimated $117 billion in direct (preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to weight) and indirect (absenteeism, loss of future earnings due to premature death) costs.[20] This exceeds health care costs associated with smoking[19] and accounts for 6% to 12% of national health care expenditures in the United States.[21][22]

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