Approximately one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. 40% of women, 35% of men, as well as 17% of children and adolescents are identified as obese in the United States.
These numbers clearly do not sound promising despite the numerous programs that have been launched at schools, hospitals, and local communities to create awareness of obesity and its underlying challenges. Millions of dollars have been spent on research and clinical studies to address the relentless challenges of obesity.
According to the Journal of Health Affairs, the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 and the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
Furthermore, obesity impacts some ethnic groups more than others. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%), followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8%).
Obesity Increases Among American Women
One study aimed at analyzing the trends in obesity among adults in the United States from 2005 to 2014 found the prevalence of obesity to have remained the same among men, while the prevalence among women has increased. The study shows very little progress when it comes to preventing obesity among the U.S women
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, obesity increased by 5% for women over a decade. Furthermore, approximately 10% of women (up from 7% a decade earlier) and 5.5% of men were qualified as class 3 obese.
Researchers looked into the race, ethnicity, education level and smoking practices of the participants in the study to seek any patterns that could explain this trend, but could not find anything conclusive.
Many variables such as availability of fast foods, a lack of exercise, and food additives contribute to the rise of obesity among men and women in the United Staes. Building an awareness of the causes of obesity could be the first step toward slowing down this trend.