Obesity Problems

Approximately one-third of adults in the United States are obese. Being obese increases a person's risk of developing several health-related problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. In some cases, problems can be avoided by losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds. Other conditions that are associated with obesity include osteoarthritis, depression, and gout.

An Overview of Obesity Problems

Obesity has reached epidemic levels in the United States and in most other Westernized countries. In the United States, nearly one-third of adults are obese (defined as a body mass index [BMI] greater than 30). Since 1960, obesity rates have more than doubled. And this problem is not just with adults -- childhood obesity is increasing at alarming rates.
 
Regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, being obese increases a person's chances for developing a number of health-related problems. The good news is that you can lower your risk for obesity by losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds.
 
(Click BMI Calculator or BMI Chart to find your weight status.)
 

What Are Some Specific Problems Related to Obesity?

Some of the problems linked to obesity include:
 
Early Death
Most studies show an increase in the mortality rate associated with obesity. Obese individuals have a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of death from all causes, compared to normal-weight individuals. Most of the increased risk is due to cardiovascular causes (heart attacks or strokes).
 
The life expectancy of a moderately obese person could be shortened by two to five years. White men between 20 and 30 years old with a BMI greater than 45 could shorten their life expectancy by 13 years; white women in the same category could lose up to eight years of life. Young African-American men with a BMI greater than 45 could lose up to 20 years of life; African-American women could lose up to 5 years.
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Information About Obesity

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