Fast Facts: How Obesity Affects America


Fast Facts of How Obesity Affects America:

  • If obesity rates stay consistent, by 2030, 51% of the population will be obese
  • Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15%. Today there are 41 states with obesity rates over 25%, according to the Trust for American’s Health
  • Since 1980, the rate of obesity in children and adolescents has almost tripled
  • America is leading the world in obesity
  • Obesity is the main cause for 60-70% of all known chronic illnesses
  • Childhood diabetes continues to be on the rise

    Obesity’s impact on the economic growth of the US (productivity, creativity, discipline, energy, focus. etc)


  • Currently, 80% of Americans work in jobs that require little or no physical activity
  • Obesity-related job absenteeism costs $4.3 billion annually
  • $1.8 TRILLION is the current annual impact of poor health according to the US Department of Labor
  • Based on statistics, such as for every $1 spent on wellness initiatives, corporations can save as high as $10, we can conclude that healthy employees benefit the employer
  • Conversely, we can conclude that the money that corporations spend on employees’ unhealthy lifestyle is so high that it can determine the future existence of the company and standing of the employees’ job security
  • Medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs
  • Companies that have wellness programs have 28% reduced sick leave and 26% reduced health care costs
  • On the other hand, if the company did not have such astronomical health costs, that money could be used for improving the quality of the workplace, more benefits for the employees, and possible higher income.

Obesity’s impact on homeland security


  • The rapid increase in the national prevalence of obesity from 15% in 1980 to over 30% today and overweight from 50% to 68% is affecting America’s ability to defend itself militarily
  • In fact, today, obesity is the leading medical reason why applicants fail to qualify for military service
  • Since 27% of young people aged 17 to 24 are too heavy to serve in the armed forces, obesity is quickly becoming a significant national security concern
  • The fact that current and retired military leadership has called obesity a serious national security threat warranting immediate action reflects the gravity of the issue
  • The last major example of the military becoming involved in nutrition in America was during World War II. Military planners were keenly aware that the health of school-aged children would have a bearing on the fitness of future military recruits

Obesity’s impact on healthcare


  • For every $1 spent on healthcare, $0.95 is spent on treatment and only $0.05 spent on preventative care
  • Obesity-related medical treatment costs between $147 and $210 billion a year, or nearly 10 percent of all annual medical spending
  • Obese people spend 42% more on healthcare costs than people of a healthy weight 
  • Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14.1 billion in direct costs
  • Annually, the average total health expenses for a child treated for obesity under Medicaid is $6,730, while the average health cost for all children covered by Medicaid is $2,446
  • In 2010, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that nearly 20% of the increase in U.S. health care spending (from 1987-2007) was caused by obesity
  • Annual health costs related to obesity in the U.S. is nearly $200 billion, and nearly 21% of medical costs in the U.S. can be attributed to obesity
  • Researchers estimate that if obesity trends continue, obesity related medical costs, alone, could rise by $43 to $66 billion each year in the United States by 2030
  • Per capita medical spending is $2,741 higher for people with obesity than for normal weight individuals

Obesity’s impact on education


  • Studies have variously found that obese students — and especially girls — tend to have lower test scores than their slimmer peers, are more likely to be held back a grade, and are less likely to go on to college
  • A recent study, published in the journal Child Development, followed 6,250 children from kindergarten through fifth grade and found that those who were obese throughout that period scored lower on math tests than non-obese children
  • Physically fit children had a 2.4 times greater chance of passing math tests and a 2.2 times greater chance of passing reading tests compared with aerobically unfit children
  • Overweight people had 4% less brain tissue than people of normal weight, and obese people had 8% less brain tissue than people of normal weight. These results are serious for children who are obese
    • loss of brain tissue results in less brain to think with resulting in a lower IQ;
    • there is a loss in the ability to regulate attention so a child at school is not able to remain focused long enough to absorb any information so less learning is taking place
    • long-term memory is impaired so there is limited retention of what he does manage to learn;
    • and now the child is also clumsy, because basal ganglia are all clogged up causing a loss of coordination.



  1. The solution is simple. Make everything a health incentive. Such as: Airlines should charge for weight and size of the human just like the package being shipped. people should pay more for everything when they are overweight and unhealthy.

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