Morbid Obesity Statistics in America


HFR’s utmost goal is to make America healthier and fitter. We also aim to educate the general population because we truly believe that knowledge about healthy lifestyle is the only way to truly combat the obesity epidemic that the world is facing. Which is why we did some research on morbid obesity statistics in America:

  • Obesity is a life-threatening disease affecting more than one-third of all adults in the U.S.
  • Weight classifications for adults: 
    • Super obese: A person with a BMI of 50 or more
      • 50,000 adults are super obese in the U.S.
    • Morbidly obese: A person with a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 or more with an obesity related disease, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease or sleep apnea
      • 15 million adults are morbidly obese in the U.S.
    • Obese: A person with a BMI of 30 – 39.9
      • 64 million adults are obese in the U.S.

In recent years, studies have shown clinically severe or morbid obesity (body mass index (BMI) >40 or 50 kg m(-2)) entails far more serious health consequences than moderate obesity for patients, and creates additional challenges for providers.

Next we give the statistics on how the issue of morbid obesity is affecting our children:

Preventing obesity during childhood is critical, because habits formed during youth frequently carry into adulthood; an obese 4-year-old has a 20% chance of becoming obese as an adult, and an obese teenager has up to an 80% chance of becoming an obese adult. If this epidemic is not reversed, we are in danger of raising the first generation of American children who will live sicker and die younger than the generations before them.

• Overweight and obesity are associated with a 52% and 60% increased risk, respectively, for new diagnoses of asthma among children and adolescents.

• Obese children are at a higher risk for psychosocial problems, fatty liver, orthopedic-related problems and sleep apnea.

• Although traditionally viewed as an “adult” illness, the rise in childhood overweight and obesity has corresponded to an increasing proportion of youths with type 2 diabetes, particularly among adolescent minority populations. The youngest child to be diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2, was a 3 year old girl, whose diagnosis was reversed once she adopted a healthy lifestyle and lost weight.

• Obese children and teens have been found to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), including high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and abnormal glucose tolerance. 11 In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 7% of obese children had at least one CVD risk factor while 39% had two or more CVD risk factors.

“Obesity, morbid obesity, and super obesity are destroying our nation’s potential by straining human potential. We need to fight this illness with all the power we have in order for our children to have a better future. Also, in order for those suffering from morbid obesity to have a second chance at life. My recommendation is for all families with morbid and super obese children should be put in special programs to be educated in healthy lifestyle and physical fitness and understand the negative impact of obesity on health. In the worse case scenarios, when children are in an environment where it is not possible for them to get healthy, I would take them away from their parents until circumstances change. These children should be placed in special wellness programs in order to save their lives” Samir Becic says.

Childhood obesity alone is estimated to cost $14 billion annually in direct health expenses, and children covered by Medicaid are nearly six times more likely to be treated for a diagnosis of obesity than children covered by private insurance.

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