Jun 03 2012

Things You Should Know About Obesity: Statistics and Definitions

Here are some interesting, shocking and very real statistics and definitions about obesity that you should know. Data is taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Let’s Move (Letsmove.gov), National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and from Canada, the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS).

  • In 2007–2009, the prevalence of obesity in Canada was 24.1%, over 10 percentage points lower than in the United States (34.4%). The prevalence of obesity is significantly higher among U.S. adults than among their Canadian counterparts.
  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 33.9% (2007-2008)
  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are overweight (and not obese): 34.4% (2007-2008)
  • Percent of adolescents age 12-19 years who are obese: 18.1% (2007-2008)
  • Percent of children age 6-11 years who are obese: 19.6% (2007-2008)
  • Percent of children age 2-5 years who are obese: 10.4% (2007-2008)
  • An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
  • Body mass index (BMI) is a measure used to determine childhood overweight and obesity. It is calculated using a child’s weight and height. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but it is a reasonable indicator of body fatness for most children and teens.
  • Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
  • In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. Of these over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.
  • 65% of the world’s population, live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
  • More than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2010.
  • Overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths
  • At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese
  • 44% of the diabetes burden, 23% of the ischemic heart disease burden and between 7% and 41% of certain cancer burdens are attributable to overweight and obesity.
  • Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese
  • Thirty years ago, kids ate just one snack a day, whereas now they are trending toward three snacks, resulting in an additional 200 calories a day. And one in five school-age children has up to six snacks a day.
  • Portion sizes have also exploded- they are now two to five times bigger than they were in years past
  • Beverage portions have grown as well- in the mid-1970s, the average sugar-sweetened beverage was 13.6 ounces compared to today, kids think nothing of drinking 20 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages at a time
  • We are now eating 31 percent more calories than we were forty years ago–including 56 percent more fats and oils and 14 percent more sugars and sweeteners
  • The average American now eats fifteen more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970.
  • Eight to 18-year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including, TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity
  • Health problems and risks for overweight and obese children are: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, arthritis, social discrimination and psychological stress
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