As this issue of Life Extension Magazine® was being prepared to go to press, a new report was published stating that US obesity is growing “faster than anyone imagined.”*
One of the more staggering statistics revealed in the report is that the number of states where 30% of the population is obese tripled between 2007 and 2009, going from three states to nine. Dr. Thomas Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told reporters that “less than a decade ago, in 2000, not a single state had an obesity prevalence of 30% or higher.”
Even more disappointing is that health officials had recently set a goal to slash the obesity rate by 15% or more. Rather than achieving that goal, the opposite has happened, and 2.4 million adults have been added to the swelling ranks of the obese population.
Obesity, which is defined as having a body mass index over 30 (calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in squared meters), puts people at greater risk for severe health problems.
In addition, there is a tremendous economic cost, as medical expenditures associated with the condition are estimated to be around $147 billion annually.
Bill Dietz, director of the CDC’s division of nutrition, physical activity, and obesity, said in a news conference that “the availability and consumption of high calorie foods along with a more sedentary lifestyle has led to the epidemic.”