During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2007, only one state (Colorado) had a prevalence of obesity less than 20% (18.7%). Thirty states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; three of these states (Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%. In 2007 Arizona had a 25.4% obesity rate.
Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions, including the following:
According to the Healthy People 2010, national health objectives include reducing the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults to less than 15%
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Fat accumulation that could affect health is called obesity. Additionally, being overweight is having a higher weight than what is considered healthy.
Body mass index is a simple scale of how much a person weights compared to their height. It is used to indicate if a person is overweight or obese, and is calculated by dividing a persons weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.
The WHO defines being overweight or obese as follows for adults:
A person is considered overweight if their BMI is equal to or greater than 25.
A person is considered obese if their BMI is equal to or greater than 30.
For adults of all ages and both sexes, BMI is the most comprehensive population-level measure of obesity and being overweight. It is consistent across everyone, but must be taken as a rough indicator, because it cant be assumed that it reflects the same level of fatness in each person.
Children have a different definition of obesity and overweight depending on their age.
Young children under the age of 5 have an increased risk of choking on small toys or objects.
According to the World Health Organization, someone is considered overweight if they have a weight-height ratio greater than 2 standard deviations above the median on their age-appropriate Child Growth Standards chart.
The median is the middle value; half of the values are higher, and half are lower. In weight-for-height, obesity is defined as greater than 3 standard deviations above the WHO Child Growth Standards median.
Overweight and obesity in children aged 5 to 19 are defined as follows:
Base on result in 2019, an estimated 38.2 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese. Once considered a problem in high-income countries, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, especially in urban areas. Since 2000, the number of overweight children under 5 in Africa has increased by nearly 24%. In 2019, nearly half of overweight or obese children under 5 lived in Asia.
More than 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 years were overweight or obese in 2016.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 rose sharply from 4% in 1975 to more than 18% in 2016. Boys and girls gained the same weight: In 2016, 18% of girls and 19% of boys were overweight.
In 1975, less than 1 percent of children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 were obese, while in 2016 there were more than 124 million children and adolescents (6 percent of girls and 8 percent of boys).
Compared with being underweight, overweight and obesity are associated with global deaths. Globally, more people are obese than underweight — a condition that occurs in all but sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia.
The root cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calorie consumption and expenditure. Around the world there are:
Changes in diet and physical activity are often the result of developmental environmental and social changes and a lack of supportive measures in areas such as health, agriculture, transport, urban planning, environment, food processing, distribution, marketing and education.
Elevated BMI is a major risk factor for NCDs, such as:
The risk of these NCDs increases with increasing body mass index.
Childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. But in addition to increasing future risk, obese children experience breathing difficulties, increased fracture risk, high blood pressure, early indicators of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects.
The choice of healthy foods and regular exercise should be the easiest choice in a supportive environment or community. When environments and communities support healthier choices, obesity and other noncommunicable diseases related to obesity can be prevented.
People can do individual things such as:
The population as a whole needs to support and implement evidence-based and population-based policies that encourage physical activity and better diet choices, making them available and easy to obtain for everyone. An example of such a policy is a tax on sugary beverages.
Food industries can help people adopt healthy diets by doing: