The Epidemic of Obesity

Obesity is one of America's most serious epidemics. More than two-thirds of U.S. citizens are overweight; a frightening statistic that continues to increase. Of even greater concern, more than 23 million Americans are morbidly obese and one-third of these are considered super obese.

BMI – Body Mass Index

Overweight and obesity may be measured by Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a measure of your weight proportionate to your height. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) considers that a BMI of 18.25 to 24.9 is normal. A BMI greater than 25 is considered overweight. Obesity is defined as having a BMI greater than 30 with morbidly obese then having a BMI greater than 40. Super obesity refers to individuals with a BMI greater than 50.

Health Effects

The National Institutes of Health advises that an increase in 20 percent or more above "ideal body weight" is the point at which weight-related health dangers appear. The risk of dying is 5 to 10 times greater than that of a normal weight person. The negative effects of obesity on your health are far reaching and have a significant financial impact. In the United States, obesity related conditions cost more than $100 billion to treat. Some of the negative effects of obesity include, but are not limited to:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep apnea and other breathing problems
  • Joint problems and osteoarthritis
  • Psychosocial effects