Severely Obese Population of US Quadrupled Between 1986 and 200014 years, 6 months ago
Posted on Jan 30, 2004, 5 a.m.
By Bill Freeman
The number of US citizens that are severely obese
The number of US citizens that are severely obese &endash; that is those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater &endash; quadrupled between 1986 and the year 2000 from roughly 1 in 200 adults to 1 in 50. During the same period, the number of moderately obese people &endash; those with a BMI between 30 and 40 &endash; doubled, from 1 in 10 to 1 in 5. However, the largest growth was seen among people with a BMI of 50 or more. The number of people belonging to this group swelled from 1 in 2000 adults in 1986 to 1 in 400 at the start of the new millennium. A typical man in that group weighs a staggering 373 pounds and is 5 feet 10 inches tall. The severely obese place a severe strain on the healthcare system as they use more services and are at significantly greater risk of developing diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions. Study author Roland Sturm, said of the findings: "I'd be scared. They [the healthcare system, health plans, and employers] really have a problem on their hands that is much worse than expected."
SOURCE/REFERENCE: Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:2146-2148.