Obesity statistics make sobering reading these days and when you take obesity rates and plot them out into a series of different obesity graphs the picture comes rapidly into very sharp focus.
We often hear people talk about an obesity epidemic these days in the West, with countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom leading the way and, as the graph below shows, the US (together with Mexico) and the UK are indeed at the head of the list of countries around the world with a major obesity problem.
And, as the two further obesity graphs below demonstrate, this is a problem which is fairly evenly split between both men and women.
Worldwide Obesity Rates In Men
Worldwide Obesity Rates In Women
When considering obesity in the United States many people look to CDC obesity data to provide perhaps the most accurate and up-to-date picture of the problem and one tiny glimmer of hope is that, while obesity in adults over 20 remains alarmingly high, the steady rise which we have witnessed over the past 25 years does at last seem to be showing signs of leveling off.
The obesity rate in the United States is of particular concern because of its implications for the health of Americans. Indeed, obesity remains a major concern as it increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions including:
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancers (particularly breast, colon and endometrial cancers)
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
- Liver and Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea and other respiratory problems
Amongst other things, the latest report from the CDC shows that:
- More than one-third of adults in the US (roughly 72 million individuals) are obese and that obesity is split fairly evenly between both men and women with obesity rates coming in at 33.3% for men and 35.3% for women.
- The highest obesity rates are seen in adults aged between 40 and 59 with approximately 40% of men in this age group being obese, compared to 28% of men aged between 20 and 39 and 32% of men over the age of 60. In women, 41% of those aged between 40 and 59 are obese compared to 30.5% of women aged between 20 and 39. Women over the age of 65 have comparable obesity rates to women between the the ages of 20 and 39.
- There are large race-ethnic disparities in obesity rates among women when race and other ethnic factors are taking into consideration. For example, approximately 53% of non-Hispanic black women and 51% of Mexican-American women aged between 40 and 59 are obese compared to roughly 39% of non-Hispanic white women of the same age. Among women over the age of 60, 61% of non-Hispanic black women are obese compared to 37% of Mexican-American women and 32% of non-Hispanic white women.