Obesity As A Disease

Obesity As A Disease

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About one-third of adults in the United States are considered obese, according to a 2007-2008 report (the most recently available statistics) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC).  While that number is high, the CDC reports that new data suggests the trend toward American obesity is slowing.

The reasons for obesity are multiple and complex. Despite conventional wisdom, it is not simply a result of overeating. There are many factors that contribute to the development of obesity including genetics, hereditary, environmental, metabolic and eating disorders. There are also certain medical conditions that may result in obesity like intake of steroids and hypothyroidism.  Research has shown that in many cases a significant, underlying cause of morbid obesity is genetic. Studies have demonstrated that once the problem is established, efforts such as dieting and exercise programs have a limited ability to provide effective long-term relief.

Science continues to search for answers. But until the disease is better understood, the control of excess weight is something patients must work at for their entire lives. That is why it is very important to understand that all current medical interventions, including weight-loss surgery, should not be considered medical cures. Rather they are attempts to reduce the effects of excessive weight and alleviate the serious physical, emotional and social consequences of the disease.

See:  The Causes of Obesity.

Obesity Statistics

U.S. – For national data and an in-depth breakdown of obesity trends by state, race, ethnicity, income status and age (children versus adults 20 and older, visit the CDC Overweight and Obesity Data and Statistics site.

Connecticut – Population 3,501,252*
(Ranks #49 in the nation for adult obesity**)

  • 59.2% (2.1M) of the population is considered overweight or obese (>25 BMI)
  • 21.7%  (0.8 M) of the population is considered obese (>30 BMI)
  • Approx. 8% (0.3M) of the population qualifies for Bariatric surgery***
  • Approx. 41% (0.1M) of the people who qualify for surgery are also interested**

*U.S. Census Bureau Estimate, 2006
** “The CalorieLabUnited States of Obesity Fattest States Ranking 2008”
*** Copernicus Marketing Investment and Strategy Consulting Group, 2004.

Page last updated on Jun. 30, 2010