Obesity Epidemic Controlling The U.S. Population

By Jenny Teng

America’s obesity epidemic has hit an all new high. Forty percent of U.S. women are now obese and teenagers continuing to gain weight that reaches the obese level. Overall, thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults and seventeen percent of teenagers are obese. These are in the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Having a body mass index, or BMI, of over 30 makes one obese. Your BMI measures the proportion of height to weight. On top of those that are obese, another third are overweight — a BMI of at least 25. There are also those who are morbidly obese, with a BMI of over 40. More than 5 percent of men and almost 10 percent of women in the U.S. are morbidly obese.

Efforts to encourage Americans to lose weight — or even to stop putting on weight — are having little effect.Caring about your weight isn’t just about looking good, it’s also a main factor in staying healthy. Those who are obese have higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies also show that the obese are twenty-nine percent more likely to say they lack purpose in life and thirty-four percent more likely to suffer financially, per NBC.

Despite many studies trying to pinpoint why the obesity epidemic is worsening, researchers are still unable to figure it out. The obesity epidemic in the U.S. has been going on for three decades now, but data shows little hope that the epidemic will be stopping anytime soon. It is predicted by the Trust for America’s Health that forty-four percent of Americans will be obese by 2030, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts forty-two percent will be.

This health brief was originally published in the Dress A Med newsletter.

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