Obesity in 2020: Facts, Causes, and Solutions

January 23, 2020

Obesity in 2020: Facts, Causes, and Solutions

Obesity in 2020: Facts, Causes, and Solutions

In 1999, roughly twenty years ago, federal health officials said the U.S. was experiencing a "growing obesity epidemic" that was putting millions of lives at stake. We are now in the year 2020 and the situation has only gotten significantly worse. At the beginning of the century, 30.5% of American adults had a body mass index of 30 or higher, meaning that they were and are obese. Today, according to data released by the Center For Disease Control & Prevention, the obesity rate of adult Americans has risen to a staggering 43%. 

Obesity in 2020: Facts, Causes, and Solutions

At the turn of the century, 30.5% of all adult Americans were considered obese. As of 2020, that number has largely increased to 43% helping to fuel some of the leading causes of death in America, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. To quote the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics in the United States, "The prevalence of obesity among adults has moved further away from the Healthy People 2020 goal of 30.5%. 

Socioeconomic Status and Racial Disparities in Obesity Rates 

The obesity rate was highest among black adults at 49.6% and adult obesity prevalence was highest in Mississippi and West Virginia and lowest in Colorado according to the survey

  • 42.2% of White American adults are obese
  • 49.6% of Black American adults are obese
  • 17.4% of Asian American adults are obese 
  • 44.8% of Hispanic American adults are obese

Severe Obesity Rates in 2020

The new data shows that adults who are severely obese—with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher—also has risen since 2000. In fact, the number has nearly doubled from 4.7% to 9.2%. Although men and women saw a similar increase in obesity rates, women are much more likely to be severely obese than men. 

Healthiest Communities in the United States 

  1. Douglas County, Colorado
  2. Los Alamos County, New Mexico
  3. Falls Church City, Virginia
  4. Loudoun County, Virginia
  5. Broomfield County, Colorado 
  6. Teton County, Wyoming
  7. Hamilton County, Indiana
  8. Carver County, Minnesota
  9. Delaware County, Ohio
  10. Howard County, Maryland
Obesity puts you at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, stroke and more. 

    1. Obesity Puts You At An Increased Risk of Depression

    Obesity can do far more than just impact you physically—your mental health is also greatly affected.  This includes an increased risk of stress, anxiety, and even depression. 

    2. Obesity Can Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack

    High blood pressure, blood sugar, and higher (LDL) cholesterol levels can lead to the hardening of arteries over time and increase your risk of a heart attack. 

    3. Obesity Can Increase Your Risk of Developing Certain Types of Cancer 

    Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of many different types of cancers including liver, kidney, colon, pancreatic, among others. 

    4. Obesity Increases Your Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes 

    A 2017 CDC report reveals that more than 110 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. Obesity can make your body resistant to insulin (a chemical messenger that allows cells to absorb glucose) which can lead to higher blood sugar levels, increasing your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 

    5. Obesity Can Lead To Liver Disease

    When you have an excess amount of fat, that can build-up around your liver—leading to liver damage and possibly even failure.  

    6. Obesity Increases Your Risk of Stroke

    Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, thus increasing your risk of having a stroke. In fact, high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke. 

    7. Obesity Can Lead To Infertility 

    Obesity can make it increasingly difficult to get pregnant and can also increase your risk of pregnancy complications.  

    8. Obesity Can Lead To Joint & Body Pain

    Obesity can cause bone density to deteriorate, joint stiffness, overall aches, and pains, and increase fracture risk. 

    How Obesity Can Impact You Overall

    • Obesity affects you mentally as well as physically
    • Obesity can cause a wide range of complications
    • Obesity increases your risk of developing serious diseases
    • Excess weight can cause serious joint and body pain 

    When trying to lose weight it's important your caloric intake does not exceed your caloric output. This involves getting the right amount of sleep, a healthy well-balanced diet, strength-training, and yes, the dreaded cardio. According to Mayo Clinic, to lose weight or maintain weight (loss), you'll need up to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. But don't let that intimidate you just yet—that averages out to 60 minutes of exercise a day 5 days a week. This can be broken down to a 20-minute walk before work, a 20-minute walk during lunch, and, to mix it up, another form of cardio that you prefer after work. 

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