It has been observed for some time that the incidence of people being overweight and the incidence of obesity are a growing concern that presents a real health hazard. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there were more than 1.9 billion adults 18 years and older considered to be overweight as of 2014, with over 600 million of these adults considered obese (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/). Health officials define overweight and obese as having abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that can negatively impact health. WHO uses Body Mass Index (or BMI; an index of weight to height) in classifying adults as overweight or obese. BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by his height in meters (kg/m2).
As defined by the World Health Organization:
• Overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25.
• Obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
Accordingly, 13% of the world’s adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were judged obese in 2014. In the same year, 39% of adults aged 18 and older (38% of men and 40% of women) were considered overweight. The WHO data shows that the prevalence of obesity worldwide has more than doubled between 1980 and 2014.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted a survey in 2009-2010 concerning the incidence of overweight and obesity in the United States, according to ethnicity. The data from that survey is depicted in following table (1).
According to the data, 66.7 percent of white people were considered overweight or obese, 34.3 percent were considered obese, and 5.7. percent were considered to have extreme obesity. Among black people, 76.7 percent were considered overweight or obese, 49.5 percent were considered obese, and 13.1 percent were considered to have extreme obesity. Among Hispanic people, 78.8 percent were considered overweight or obese, 39.1 percent were considered obese, and 5 percent were considered to have extreme obesity. Among adults in the United States in all racial categories, 68.8 percent were considered overweight or obese, 35.7 percent were considered obese, and 6.3 percent were considered to be extremely obese.
Source: NHANES, 2009–2010 (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx)
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