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FACTBOX: Obesity is growing global health concern
May 29, 2009 / 12:06 AM / 8 years ago

FACTBOX: Obesity is growing global health concern

(Reuters) - Obesity resulting from a sedentary lifestyle is seen by experts as a threat to human health and well-being. The following are facts about obesity in the United States and around the world.

* Body Mass Index, or BMI, is an indicator of body fatness calculated from a person’s weight and height. An adult with a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is considered overweight. An adult with a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. A BMI over 40 is defined as morbidly obese.

* About two-thirds of adults over age 20 in the United States are considered overweight or obese. Thirty-two percent are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

* Obesity has increased dramatically over the past two decades.

* In 2007, only one state, Colorado, had a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent. Thirty states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25 percent; Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30 percent.

* About 9 million adult Americans are defined as morbidly obese, according to the American Obesity Association. The morbidly obese population is growing at the fastest rate.

* Obesity-related diseases include coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), hypertension, dyslipidemia, stroke, liver disease, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis and gynecological problems, including infertility.

* Obesity is associated with more than 100,000 deaths each year in the United States.

* The direct and indirect costs of being overweight or obese is $117 billion per year, according the a 2000 report by the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General.

* Approximately 1.6 billion adults are overweight globally, according to the World Health Organization.

* Once considered a problem only in high-income countries, obesity is rising in low and middle income countries, particularly in urban areas.

* At least 20 million children under 5 are obese globally.

(Compiled by Debra Sherman in Chicago and Matthew Bigg in Atlanta)

Editing by Doina Chiacu and Pascal Fletcher

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