About Obesity

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"Obesity has risen to epidemic levels in the U.S. It causes devastating and costly health problems, reduces life expectancy, and is associated with stigma and discrimination."

- National Institutes of Health, Obesity Research

According to the NIH, more than one-third of adults age 20 and older are obese. Obese individuals have a significantly increased risk of death from all causes, compared with healthy weight individuals (BMI 18.5 to 24.9). Most of the increased risk of death for people who are obese is due to cardiovascular causes.

Body mass index (BMI), a measure of height in relation to weight, is used to define levels of obesity.

Health consequences of obesity can include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast and colon)
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Degeneration of cartilage (osteoarthritis)
  • Reproductive health problems
  • Stroke
  • Incontinence
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

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