Obesity Out of Control: Three Out of Four Americans Predicted To Be Overweight By 2015

Seventy-five percent of U.S. adults are predicted to be overweight and 41 percent obese by 2015, according to a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The researchers examined 20 studies published in journals and looked at national surveys of weight and behavior for  analysis, published in the journal Epidemiologic Reviews.

“Obesity is a public health crisis. If the rate of obesity and overweight continues at this pace, by 2015, 75 percent of adults and nearly 24 percent of U.S. children and adolescents will be overweight or obese,” Dr. Youfa Wang, who led the study and reported the results in a statement.

Researchers defined adult overweight and obesity categories using a standard medical definition called body mass index. People with a BMI of 25 or above are considered overweight, while those with BMIs of 30 or above are obese and at serious risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Findings from study reviews:

66 percent of U.S. adults were overweight or obese in 2003 and 2004.

80 percent of black women aged 40 or over are overweight and 50 percent are obese.

16 percent of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight and 34 percent are at risk of becoming overweight.

Every group is steadily getting heavier.

In conclusion, obesity has increased at an alarming rate in the United States over the past three decades. Obesity will become the leading cause of preventable death, if it continues on the present course.

Wang Y, Beydoun MA.   The obesity epidemic in the United States–gender, age, socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and geographic characteristics: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Epidemiol Rev. 2007;29:6-28. Epub 2007 May 17.