Today, two-thirds of U.S. adults and nearly one in three children struggle because they are overweight or have obesity.  The effects of the nation’s obesity epidemic are immense:  taxpayers, businesses, communities and individuals spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year due to obesity, including nearly $200 billion in medical costs.  Obesity is the reason that the current generation of youth is predicted to live a shorter life than their parents.  Much can be done to reverse the epidemic, yet important opportunities to tackle obesity at the national policy level -- including changes that enable more Americans to eat healthy and be active, as well as those that provide appropriate medical treatment for patients -- have gone largely unmet.  The Campaign works to fill this gap.  By bringing together leaders from across industry, academia and public health with policymakers and their advisors, the Campaign provides the information and guidance that decision-makers need to make policy changes that will reverse one of the nation’s costliest and most prevalent diseases.



America's Obesity Epidemic
-Today two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children struggle with overweight and obesity.1
-If obesity rates stay consistent, by 2030, 51 percent of the population will be obese by 2030.2
-Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent. Today there are 41 states with obesity rates over 25 percent, according to the Trust for American's Health.3
-Since 1980, the rate of obesity in children and adolescents has almost tripled.4


Obesity's Impact on America's Health
-Obesity is linked to more than 60 chronic diseases.5
-According to the American Cancer Society, 572,000 Americans die of cancer each year, about one-third of these cancer deaths are linked to excess body weight, poor nutrition and/or physical inactivity.6
-Over 75 percent of hypertension cases are directly linked to obesity.7
-Approximately two-thir
ds of U.S. adults with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity.8


The Economic Impact of Obesity
-In 2010, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that nearly 20 percent of the increase in U.S. health care spending (from 1987-2007) was caused by obesity.9
- Annual health costs related to obesity in the U.S. is nearly $200 billion, and nearly 21 percent of medical costs in the U.S. can be attributed to obesity.10
-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 2030.11
-Per capita medical spending is $2,741 higher for people with obesity than for normal weight individuals.12


Obesity's Impact on the Workforce
-Full-time workers in the U.S. who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health conditions miss an estimated 450 million additional days of work each year compared with healthy workers-- resulting in an estimated cost of more than $153 billion in lost productivity annually, according to a 2011 Gallup Poll.13
-Medical expenses for obese employees are 42 percent than for a person with a healthy weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control.14


Obesity's Impact on Communities of Need
-Blacks, Hispanics an
d Native people are much more likely to be obese than whites, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.15
-Low-income people are less likely to have access to recreation and fitness facilities, and more than 38 percent of low-income people have limited access to healthy foods.16


Obesity and Physical Activity
-Less than 15 percent of school-aged children walk or bike to school today, compared to 48 percent that did in 1969, according to the Safe Routes to School Partnership.17
-Only 4 percent of elementary schools, 8 percent of middle schools and 2 percent of high schools provide daily physical education for all students.18
-Approximately 50 percent of U.S. adults and 65 percent of adolescents do not currently get the recommended amount of daily physical activity.19


Obesity and Nutrition
-In total, Americans now consume 31 percent more calories today than they did 40 years ago.20
-According to the United States Department of Agriculture, healthier diets could prevent at least $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity and lost lives.21

Resources:

1 NIDDK: Weight-control Information Network
2 Trust for America's Health: F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012
3 Trust for America's Health: F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2013
4 CDC: Obesity Rates Among Children in the United States
5 Campaign to End O
besity: Dr. Lee Kaplan at Preventing and Treating Obesity in the Primary Care Setting 2013 Workshop
6 American Cancer Society: Diet and Physical Activity: What's the Cancer Connection?
7 Trust for America's Health: F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2013: Fast Facts
8 ObesityAmerica.org: Understanding Obesity: Obesity-Related Diseases
9 CBO: How does Obesity in Adults Affect Spending on Health Care?
10 Campaign to End Obesity: Long Term Returns of Obesity Prevention Policies
11 Harvard School of Public Health: Obesity Prevention Source
12 The Medical Care Cost of Obesity: An Instrumental Variables Approach
13 Gallup: Unhealthy US Workers' Absenteeism  Costs $153 Billion
14 CDC: A Workplace Obesity Prevention Program
15 HHS: Office of Minority Health: Obesity Statistics
16 Campaign to End Obesity: New Markets Tax Credit: Opportunities for Investment in Healthy Foods and Physical Activity
17 Safe Routes to School Partnership: The Decline of Walking and Biking
18 Let's Move: New Program Will Help Bring Physical Activity Back to Schools
19 American Heart Association: Unlocking School Playgrounds and Gym Encourages Physical Activity
20 Let's Move: Learn the Facts
21 Center for Science in the Public Interest: Why Good Nutrition is Important



 




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2014 Campaign to End Obesity