A new study released by the Rand Group on Monday, shows that the percentage of American Adults who are more than 100 pounds overweight has increased since 2000. The study found that in 2010, 15.5 million American adults (6.6%) were obese, which is a 3.9% increase since the year 2000.
“Moderate obesity (a BMI of 30 or more) has adverse health effects, but severe obesity is in a different league,” lead research Roland Sturm says. Severely obese people have far more complex health issues and create different challenges for the health care system, he says. “Moderate obesity increases health care costs by 20% to 30% compared to those at a healthy weight, where severe obesity more than doubles health care costs.”
BMI, short for Body Mass Index, is a height to weight ratio used to categorize an individuals general health. An individual with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obeses, and a BMI of 40 or more indicates that the individual is over 100 pounds overweight.
Other key findings from the study were:
- Severe obesity is about 50% higher among women than men.
- It is about twice as high among blacks as Hispanics and whites.
- The percentage of severely obese who are under 40 is similar to those who are over 40.
Researchers blame the increase in obesity on genetic factor along with an overabundance of food being available (fast food restaurants).