Eric Schlosser in his book “Fast Food Nation” states that the annual health care costs in the United States stemming from obesity approaches $240 billion.
Overwaight and obesity represent the highest risk for serious diseases and among them are type 2 diabetes,cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. The consequences range from increased risk of premature death, to serious chronic conditions that reduce the overall quality of life.
The number of obese people in the world is now 537.430.475 and this number is continuosly growing every few seconds.
In the USA:
- of 22 industrialized countries, the U.S. has the highest obesity statistics
- 2/3 of Americans over age 20 are overweight
- nearly 1/3 of Americans over age 20 are obese
With the increase of body fatness increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. This disease now affects obese children before their puberty. Approximately 85% of people with diabetes are type 2, and of these, 90% are obese or overweight.
Raised body mass index also increases the risks of cancer of the breast, colon, prostate, endometroium, kidney and gallbladder.
Obesity should be considered as a disease in its own right, but it is also one of the key risk factors for other chronic diseases together with high blood pressure, smoking and high blood cholesterol. Chronic overweight and obesity contribute significantly to osteoarthritis.
According to the American Cancer Society, obesity cost an estimated $75 billion in 2003 because of the long and expensive treatment for several of its complications. According to the National Institute of Health, $75-$125 billion is spent on indirect and direct costs due to obesity-related diseases.