• My god, we’re obese

    You’d think I’d become numb to the CDC updates on obesity in the US. You’d be wrong:

    • More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. [Read data brief]
    • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]
    • In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [Read summary]

    It gets worse:

    • By state, obesity prevalence ranged from 20.7% in Colorado to 34.9% in Mississippi in 2011. No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. 39 states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states had a prevalence of 30% or more: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
    • The South had the highest prevalence of obesity (29.5%), followed by the Midwest (29.0%), the Northeast (25.3%) and the West (24.3%).

    Here’s the kicker:

    • Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (49.5%) compared with Mexican Americans (40.4%), all Hispanics (39.1%) and non-Hispanic whites (34.3%) [See JAMA. 2012;307(5):491-497. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.39].

    Almost half of African-Americans are obese. This is so bad, I don’t know what else to say.


    • While I do not dispute the insanity of weight as an issue in the US, the numbers seem off. How can the national average of 35.7% be greater that the greatest state average of 34.9%? I don’t think this is possible. Great working continuing to bring this to people’s attention. Tim

      • It’s probably slight differences in years or in how they measured things. There are always a few percentage points in the confidence interval. Good pickup.

      • From the 2011 CDC report::
        “Changes to the CDC’s BRFSS and to exclusion criteria result in a new baseline for estimated state adult obesity prevalence starting with the 2011 data. Because of these changes, estimates of obesity prevalence from 2011 forward cannot be compared to estimates from previous years. “

    • The sad part is that there is no treatment that actually works in the real population. There are certainly individuals that successfully lose weight and keep it off, but study after study shows that they are a small minority for all of the studied treatments.

      We urgently need to focus on obesity prevention, because once you get fat, it is very likely you will stay that way.

      • Just eat less.
        I know… easy to say… hard to do since you need to change human behavior.
        It is not a problem which can be “treated”. There are no magic pills (in spite of pharma’s best efforts).
        This is a behavior problem. You need to educate people on what to eat (healthy food and less of it) but it can be done. It just doesn’t fit in well with the way most doctors practice medicine which is just to hand out Rx. It requires time, motivation, follow up. Doctors are not good at this. Weight watchers is.

    • What is clear here is that we should not treat obesity like a moral failing.

      Also, choosing to enjoy food and be overweight is not an unreasonable decision. People should do things they enjoy in life. We all die anyway. Mr. Skinny Jeans (and Genes, more than likely) could get cancer. If a fat guy dies of heart disease at 68 after one last great pizza from Totonno’s, why exactly is that a tragedy?

      We all die.

      We. All. Die.

      • There have always been and always will be “foodies” who enjoy cooking real food and eating in sit-down restaurants where the menu items don’t come from a 5 gallon drum. So, it makes them overweight (though not necessarily obese). Its a reasonable enough choice. But in terms of a national epidemic of obesity, people are trained to eat junk from media and habit, and at this point, from early childhood. Mc Donalds et. al. is not enjoyable. Its crap (with a few quality exceptions like In-n-Out Burgers, El Pollo Loco, 5 Guys, Alberto’s, and a number of independents.) (And a good pizza joint pizza is not crap. its manna from heaven!) Cheetos, Dorritos, Frosted Flakes, Twinkies, KoolAid, Chips Ahoy, and hundreds of other highly processed “convenience” foods are not enjoyable. Compare them to quality restaurant food or something homemade–these products rate as inedible. And yet many, obese or not, consume this. . . stuff. . . several times a day. It must be something else, ’cause its not driven by hunger or taste buds.

    • One gets the feeling that “ShutTheFuckUpAssholes” wrote that comment while crying and eating one of those hamburgers where the bun has been supplanted with donuts.