Obesity and the Food Environment

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The full deck of 10 slides on the obesity epidemic and changes in the food environment can be downloaded [HERE].

The obesity epidemic represents a clinical and public health crisis.  At the most proximal level, obesity results from an imbalance between dietary energy intake and energy expenditure through physical activity.  However, numerous factors at the individual, community, economic and governmental levels push individuals towards a positive energy balance and weight gain.   This deck of slides presents data on the obesity epidemic and changes in the food environment over the past decades.

More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.  Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8%).  For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years, the prevalence of obesity is 17% (12.7 million children and adolescents) and is higher among Hispanics (22.4%) and non-Hispanic blacks (20.2%) than among non-Hispanic whites (14.1%).  The prevalence of obesity is lowest among non-Hispanic Asian youth (8.6%).

Among adults obesity causes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, gastro-esophageal reflux, type 2 diabetes and cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus, endometrium and kidney, the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. in 2008 was $147 billion.  Among children and adolescents obesity causes high blood pressure and high cholesterol, increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux, low self-esteem and low self-reported quality of life.

1 Response to Obesity and the Food Environment

  1. Desy says:

    Obesity is kind of common in our society nowadays. Thanks for this usefull article. Wish the more study about it, the more understanding people have about how to avoid it!

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