16 Obesity Facts That Will Save You


18 Mar 2017

Quick Facts

  1. Definition: Being fat or grossly overweight in proportion to your height
  2. Obesity BMI: Over 30
  3. US Obesity Rate: 31.8% of the entire population of the USA are obese
  4. Effects: Increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke
  5. Symptoms: Sleep apnea, extreme tiredness and arthritis
  6. Mortality rate: 1 in 5 deaths since 2013 have been due in part to obesity
  7. Disease: As of 2013 the AMA classified it as a disease
  8. Most Obese Person in History: John Brower Minnoch – 1,400lb (100 stones) in 1978
  9. Most Obese Country: In 2014 it was Kuwait – 42.8% of population
  10. Least Obese Country: Sri Lanka – 9.1% of population

1 in 5 American Teenagers are Classed as Obese

The first of our interesting obesity facts tells us a little about the extent to which younger people suffer with the issue. At the current moment it is estimated that 1 in 5 teenagers in the USA are obese. That equates to around 12 million teenagers who are overweight. Statistics show us that children in the USA tend to develop obesity with age. Children who are aged between 2 and 5 will have an 8% rate of obesity, whilst the 6 to 11 year age bracket has more than double that, at 17%.

In 2013 Obesity Cost the United States $254 billion

The biggest percentage of this money has been spent on treating the conditions that obesity causes, such as heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, stroke and hypertension. It is thought that if more people lost weight, not only would the overall health of the nation improve, but so would the state of the economy.
The next of our fascinating obesity facts tells us a little about mortality rates from the condition. Death rates due to obesity are notoriously difficult to calculate accurately; however, scientists tend to ask the question “how many people would still be alive each year if they weren’t obese” rather than trying to look directly at obesity statistics. They’ve determined that anywhere between 236,000 and 340,000 people per year in the USA have more than likely died because of obesity.

Obesity Costs USA Airlines $275 million Per Year on Average

Obesity facts also show us that it isn’t just the economy in general that suffers under the strain of the growing weight problems the world has. Many airlines now have to automatically make their seats wider to adjust to people’s expanding waistlines. Not only that, but it has been shown that an airplane will have to use much more fuel when it is carrying greater weights on board.

Different Ethnic Groups Have Differing Rates of Obesity

This is a particularly shocking statistic. It is believed that around 47.8% of all people of color in the USA are obese or have severe weight problems. Hispanic people are second on the list with 42.5%, and Caucasians next with 32.6%. The ethnic group least likely to suffer from obesity is the Asian population, with 10.8% of this population classed as having weight problems.

Obesity and Malnourishment Co-exist

Many people tend to assume that if you’re obese, you’re well fed and possibly over nourished, but that is not the case. Many people who suffer from obesity are severely malnourished. This is because they’re in fact eating calorie dense foods that have little else in terms of nutritional benefit – very often without vitamins or fiber.

104 Million US Citizens Have Blood Sugar Problems Caused by Weight

This is a very shocking statistic, but it is thought that currently 25 million US citizens have diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes because of being overweight. A further 79 million US citizens have pre-diabetes due to weight issues, meaning they could go on to develop either Type 1 or Type 2 unless they lose weight. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases discovered that losing as little as 7% in body weight and combining this with moderate levels of exercise was enough to reduce new cases of diabetes by as much as 58%.

Children Born to Obese Mothers Are Twice as Likely to Develop Obesity Themselves

The next of our obesity facts surrounds pregnancy. Obese women who give birth are twice more likely to have children who become obese than mothers who aren’t. They are also twice as likely to develop conditions like Type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, teenage mothers who are overweight before they become pregnant are also four times more likely to go on to develop gestational diabetes than females who become pregnant later in life.

Obesity Is Shortening Lives by as Much as 10 Years

If you are moderately, but not morbidly, obese, your life is likely to be shortened by 2 to 4 years. If you are morbidly obese, your life is likely to be shortened by up to or more than 10 years. More shockingly, it seems that the children of the US and UK are more likely to have shorter lives than their parents because of this trend.

Many People Would Rather “Give Up a Year of Their Life” than be Fat

At least, that is what the results of a study conducted at Rudd University in the USA said. Some 4,000 people took part in the online study of obesity and almost all of them said that they would rather give up an entire year of their life than be fat and unable to do what they wanted to.

Shocking! Obesity Now Affects Our Pets Too!

The next of our interesting obesity facts shows us that it is a condition which is now starting to affect animals as well. It is believed that around 34% of dogs that go in to see veterinarian surgeons in America are obese or morbidly obese. It can vary from male to female dogs, but one interesting statistic is that dogs who have been spayed or neutered are more likely to be obese than those dogs that have not.

Some breeds are more likely to be obese than others. For instance, rottweilers, golden retrievers and sheepdogs tend towards carrying more weight than breeds such as beagles or cocker spaniels.

Almost 30% of All USA Adults Would be too Fat to Serve in the Armed Forces

10 years ago it was estimated that as many as 9 million USA citizens would be too fat to serve in any sector of the military. It is now thought that 27% of the entire population would be too fat to take their place in the armed forces. Obesity is also the biggest single reason for discharge from the military. Of the soldiers currently serving, it is thought that 16% of them are classed as obese.

If All Obese Americans Lived in One State, it would be the 12th Most Populous State

This is probably one of the most staggering and sobering of our obesity facts. If every single obese person was made to live in one state, it would almost certainly be the 12 most populated state in America. Not only that, but it is believed that there would be more people there than are currently living in the whole of Virginia.

“Snacking” Started after World War II, and Is Now One of the Biggest Causes of Obesity

This might actually sound quite obvious, but prior to World War Two “snacking” wasn’t something that people engaged in. They ate three meals a day and got enough exercise from doing household chores and/or a full day at work to keep them trim. After the end of World War Two, and during the following decade when rationing finally stopped, people developed a much more lax attitude to food as they had had so little during the preceding years. A study conducted at the University of North Carolina showed that in the 21st century, children were “eating continuously” with three snacks a day as well as their meals.

Hunger Pangs Are in the Mind And Not the Stomach!

The penultimate of our obesity facts tells us that hunger is in the mind and not the stomach. Many of us now resort to eating meals in front of a computer screen or television and therefore our brains do not always send us a signal to tell us we’ve over eaten. A study, carried out by researchers at Birmingham University, tested two separate groups of people – one group with amnesia and one without. They gave both groups the same amounts of food to eat, then cleared away the remains. Ten minutes later more food was brought in. The amnesiacs ate more, whilst those with “normal” memories did not, and reported feeling too full. The same team of researchers are now working on building an app that will take pictures of people’s meals to remind them how much they’ve eaten and hopefully stop them overindulging.

Scientists Believe Obesity Needs to Be Tackled From Before the Age of 5!

The last of our obesity facts is really quite a shocking one. Some scientists believe that the only way to help prevent obesity in children is to tackle it with their parents before their babies are born. A study undertaken in the UK showed that 75% of babies aged from 4-18 months were already overfed, purely from formula milk and baby foods. Many overweight children in the UK and US have already gained 70-90% of the excess weight they carry before they attend full time school. The same researchers want to encourage parents not to overfeed their babies if they are of low weight when they are born, and only to encourage natural weight gain over time.

Obesity Facts – Facts about Obesity Summary

Facts about obesity show us that 1 in 5 US teenagers are already classed as obese, but that some scientists and researchers believe that childhood problems with weight need to be tackled with the parents before children are born. If all the overweight people in the USA lived in one state, it would be more populous than Virginia. Obesity can shorten lives by up to 10 years and it can also cause serious health concerns like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

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