Obesity is a major public health problem. Recent U.S. Statistics show:
- 64% of adults are overweight (127 million)
- 32% of children are overweight
- 10 million people are morbidly obese
- Estimated medical cost for obesity in 2003 was $75 Billion
- 400,000 obesity-related deaths occur annually
- Obesity worsens health and quality of life and shortens life expectancy.
- Recent studies concluded that obesity in adulthood is associated with a decrease in life expectancy of about seven years in both men and women.
- After smoking, morbid obesity is the second-leading preventable cause of death.
- The underlying causes of severe obesity are not known. There are many factors that contribute, including heredity, low metabolism, poor diet and excessive caloric intake. There are also some medical conditions that may contribute to obesity such as hypothyroidism, which can medically be treated.
Obesity related illnesses include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Coronary heart disease
- Elevated lipid level
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol level
- Joint pain
- Menstrual irregularity
- Respiratory insufficiency
- Sleep apnea
- Urinary stress incontinence