Obesity in America
Throughout recorded history, there has always been a certain segment of society who would be defined as overweight or obese. In the United States, this is composed of approximately 10% of the population up until the mid-1980s. Unfortunately, since then obesity in America has experienced an increase every single year, such that it has now reached epidemic proportions. The reasons for this are varied and somewhat controversial, but the fact is that obesity represents the most significant health threat that our nation will face in the foreseeable future. The following facts illustrate this grim reality.
- Obesity rates in America have tripled in the last 25 years.
- Morbid obesity (also called clinically severe obesity), or those with a BMI greater than 40, have quadrupled in that time.
- Further, those with a BMI greater than 50 have quintupled.
- Those with a BMI greater than 40 have a tenfold increased mortality than the non-obese population.
- It now represents the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, causing over 300,000 deaths per year.
- On average, life is shortened by 8-15 years and only 1 in 7 people with morbid obesity reach a normal life span.
- Morbid obesity carries a mortality worse than most cancers.
- The current generation is the first in 100 years to have shorter life expectancy than that of their parents, and this is because of the risks associated with obesity.
As can be seen from these statistics, the problem of obesity has completely changed the landscape of life in America over the last 30 years and there is no indication that this problem will be resolved anytime soon.