US Obesity Rates on The Rise: 113 Million By 2022

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

The US has been called out in the past for having the most obese population. And based on a new report, which estimates that the US will hold the highest population of overweight people in 2022, it looks like tackling obesity will be an important issue over the next decade.

The report, compiled by researchers at GlobalData, was created using data and information from several databases, as well as in-house analysis by industry experts.

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Looking specifically at nine major countries (US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan, Brazil and Canada), the report indicates that the current number of obese people in those areas will increase from 167 million in 2012 to 213 million in 2022, putting a strain on health services.

Then focusing on the US, researchers indicate that Americans will most be affected by obesity, with 81 million expected to be overweight and 113 million obese by 2022.

Researchers estimate that Brazil will trail the US in 2022, with 64 million overweight and 26 million obese.

According to the report, nearly 2.8 million people worldwide die each year as a result of obesity and the conditions it causes.

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Alison Carpenter, an analyst from GlobalData, says:

“The main drivers of the substantial growth in overweight and obesity cases across the nine major markets is due both to an increased adoption of a westernized lifestyle and a high prevalence of obesity risk factors.”

“Unfortunately,” she adds, “it will be difficult for public health organizations and policymakers to aim effective control measures at these populations to contain this growing epidemic.”

Other findings from the report show that in the US, obesity affects women more so than men, and it also affects non-Hispanic black women the most, with Mexican-American women following close behind.

Effects of obesity on the body

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The American Heart Association (AHA) notes that 60-70% of the US population is either overweight or obese, putting them at risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes.

According to the AHA, obesity affects nearly 78 million adults and 13 million children in the US today.

The organization notes that when we are within a healthy weight range, our bodies more effectively circulate blood, manage fluid levels easier and decrease risks for certain cancers and sleep apnea, among others.

Additionally, the AHA says that when we eat too many calories or too much saturated fat, our blood cholesterol levels often rise, increasing risks of heart diseases.

The report from GlobalData says that those who reported having an obese family member were nearly four times more likely to become obese themselves. Aside from genetics, suggested factors include sharing an environment and similar diet habits within a family, which could contribute to the risk of obesity.

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