Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in America today, and it has become a serious problem in many other countries as well. Though there are many campaigns going on to try and curb the obesity rate, it continues to rise. Here are 17 facts about obesity you probably didn’t know.

  1. Between 1980 and 2000, obesity rates in the US doubled among adults. About 60 million adults, or 30% of the adult population, are now obese.
  2. The rate of overweight children has doubled, too, during that same time period.
  3. Among adolescents in the US, the rate of obesity has tripled since 1980.
  4. Mississippi is ranked the number one overweight state.
  5. 72 million Americans are obese; nearly 7 million of these are morbidly obese.

Our young people are already beginning to show signs of the health problems that are caused by obesity – and they’re seeing these health problems at a younger age than ever.

  1. Type 2 diabetes – once believed to affect only adults – is now being diagnosed among young people.
  2. In some communities almost half of the pediatric diabetes cases are type 2.
  3. Sixty-one percent of overweight 5- to10-year-olds already have at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 26% have two or more risk factors.

There are many factors that affect obesity, and most people who are obese have a combination of these factors.

  1. Genetics are a strong component of obesity. There are many people who are predisposed to being overweight. These people can overcome the problem, but they will likely need to be diligent throughout their lives.
  2. Environmental factors are also to blame for being obese or overweight. Poor diet and lack of exercise add to the component of genetics in most obese people.
  3. Obesity affects low-income people more than higher income people. This may be due to the fact that the least expensive foods have fewer nutrients but often more fat and calories.
  4. Obesity also seems to affect certain races more than others. Forty percent of non-Hispanic Blacks and 25% of Mexicans Americans are obese. These factors may be related to the economic factors, too.
  5. The fastest growing obesity rates are among African-American girls.

In spite of the effort being made to educate the public about obesity and about the behaviors that influence obesity, the following things are true:

  1. Only about 25% of U.S. adults eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.?
  2. Fewer than 25% of adolescents eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  3. More than 50% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity to provide health benefits.
  4. More than a third of young people in grades 9–12 do not regularly engage in vigorous physical activity. Watching television, playing video games and spending time on the computer have replaced physical exercise for many kids.

The problems caused by obesity are only predicted to get worse before they get better. Over the next 10 years, it is estimated that 70-80% of all heart attack deaths will be among people with Type 2 diabetes. Obesity is the number cause of Type 2 diabetes.

It is estimated that about 300,000 adults each year die of causes related to obesity, and these numbers are expected to increase as the number of obese people increases. But, even small changes can help improve the health in those who suffer from being overweight.

It is possible to make a significant improvement in health conditions by losing just 5-10% of excess body weight, provided you maintain the weight loss and the healthy habits that helped you lose the weight.

Obesity is an expensive problem in the US, and is partly to blame for our soaring healthcare costs. Each year, nearly $100 billion is spent on treating obesity and the problems caused by it. In addition, about $33 billion is spent on diet foods, diet aids and weight loss programs.

If you’re overweight; see your doctor. Treating your obesity as the medical condition that it is can help you prevent needing treatment for many other serious illnesses that result from being obese, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

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