The statistics are part of a 2017-18 health survey in which more than 5,000 US adults participated. The study found that 42.4% of American adults are obese, which is an increase from the 39.8% found during the 2015-2016 study.
Severe obesity, however, was higher in women than men. In addition, the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity was “highest in non-Hispanic black adults compared with other race and Hispanic-origin groups.” The CDC’s findings also revealed that the prevalence of severe obesity was highest among adults aged between 40 and 59.
The findings also revealed that there has been a general increase in obesity, from 30.5% in 1999-2000 to 42.4% in 2017-2018. Meanwhile, severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2% during that same time frame.
“The observed changes in prevalence of obesity and severe obesity between 2015–2016 and 2017–2018 were not significant,” the report noted.
According to Dr. William Dietz, a George Washington University obesity expert, it will become increasingly difficult for doctors to care for so many obese people, as he estimated that every primary care doctor in the US has about 100 severely obese patients.
"How's a provider going to do that? Severe obesity really requires very intensive therapy," Dietz is quoted as telling the Associated Press.
In addition, the CDC warns that obesity is linked to serious health risks, including coronary heart disease and end-stage renal disease.
Obesity and its associated health problems can also significantly impact the US health care system.“Medical costs associated with overweight and obesity may involve direct and indirect costs. Direct medical costs may include preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to obesity. Indirect costs relate to morbidity and mortality costs including productivity,” the CDC notes on its website.