Number of Severly Obese People In America Grows
Published on October 14, 2003 By Larry Kuperman In Current Events
According to a new study reported in The Archives of Internal Medicine the number of severly obese people, people more than 100 pounds overweight, has increased dramatically. Based on a telephone study of 1.5 million adults conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 50 adults is severly obese. Compare that to 1986, when 1 in 200 adults was severly obese and you can see that we have a growing problem. During that same time the rate of moderate obesity roughly doubled, from 1 in 10 to 1 in 5.

Obesity was defined using Body Mass Index or BMI. People with a BMI of 40 or more are classified as severely obese. The largest growth was among people with a BMI over 50. A typical man in that group stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 373 pounds.

The severely obese -- people at least 100 pounds overweight -- are known to use more healthcare services and have higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions. As that segment of the population expands, health plans and employers are likely to face significantly higher costs than anticipated, according to Rand Health economist Roland Sturm, the study's author. One estimate is that a severly obese person will cost his or her employer an average of $4,000 per year in health care costs and abscences.

The website lists the factors that can influence individual obesity, including genetics, psychology and diseases such as hypothyroidism or Cushing's syndrome. Environemental factors play a strong role as well. "In cultures where people eat high fat diets and get little exercise, more problems with excess weight are seen than in groups who eat low fat diets and get regular exercise. America falls squarely into the high fat/low exercise category."

There is no question that this is a growing problem in America.

on Nov 05, 2003
What a surprise, such a large group goes to work, sits in their office chairs all day, comes home and then sits on their asses in front of the computer or TV until they go to bed.

You don't need a formal study to tell you this though - good lord, just go out to the mall or the grocery store.