Americans Weighing Higher And Higher-Obesity, The Menace

in environment, medicine, education

Over the past several decades, the adult population in the United States has undergone a dramatic shift toward heavier body weight, says one of the congressional budget office (CBO) reports.

The medical care costs of obesity in the United States are staggering. According to CDC in 2008 dollars, these costs totaled about $147 billion.  In 2009, about 2.4 million more adults were obese than in 2007 and in some states over 30% of adults are obese.

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 Health care spending per adult (in 2009 dollars) rose close to 80 percent from 1987 to 2007, from about $2,560 to $4,550, driven in part by the development and diffusion of new medical technology, more extensive insurance coverage, the aging of the population, and rising real (inflation-adjusted) prices for health care services. But in the data that CBO analyzed, the rate of growth was much more rapid among the obese.  That difference rose from 8 percent in 1987 to 38 percent 20 years later.

Being overweight or obese raises an adult’s risk of developing a number of serious illnesses, and the risk is greater for obese individuals.

Obesity increases risks for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke and even some cancers.  With increasing prevalence of obesity, personal and national healthcare burden increases.

Sedentary life style and unhealthy food habits contribute significantly to the incidence of obesity.

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