In the United States, obesity is on the rise. In fact, so many people are obese that it is often referred to as an "epidemic." Approximately 160 million Americans adults are considered overweight or obese. Obesity is also increasing in children and teens.
Being obese (having a body fat percentage greater than 25 percent for men or 30 percent for women) raises your risk of several health problems, including:
Because of these and other health problems, people who are obese have an increased risk of premature death.
(For more information on the obesity epidemic, click Obesity Statistics. This article explains the body mass index, offers obesity facts by age group, and goes into specifics about how this condition affects a person's life expectancy.)