33 Scary Obesity Statistics for Changing Your Lifestyle

Obesity Statistics

Did you know that the obesity rate in America is so high it’s considered an epidemic? Also, did you know that obesity statistics show that being obese increases people’s chances of suffering from some more serious diseases?

According to a general obesity definition, having a BMI 30 or higher is classified as obesity. However, factors like age, sex, ethnicity, and muscle mass can affect the relationship between BMI and body fat. In addition to this, BMI doesn’t make a difference between excess fat, muscle, or bone mass. Nevertheless, it’s used to indicate obesity.

To understand it better, take a look at these:

Top 10 Stats and Facts About Obesity

  • Obesity increases the chances of developing arrhythmia by almost 50%.
  • One-third of joint replacement patients are obese.
  • Over 20 million teenagers in the US are obese.
  • More than 300 million children aged 5 to 19 are overweight or obese.
  • Obesity is the leading cause for 25% of all infertility cases, obesity in America statistics show.
  • More than 13% of the world’s population was obese in 2016.
  • Approximately 50% of Hispanics in the US are obese.
  • Obesity causes 300,000 deaths every year.
  • Obesity cost the US healthcare $147 billion in 2008.
  • Marijuana users consume over 600 calories more than non-users, but don’t gain weight.

If you want to find out more about the causes of obesity, obesity in America, marijuana and weight loss, how to help someone who is obese, or if you’re simply interested in the statistics, keep reading.

Overall Obesity Facts and Stats

1. More than 90 million adults in the US suffer from obesity.


Obesity is not just a cosmetic problem. It’s a complex illness that involves excessive amounts of body fat.

The obesity epidemic affects more than 30% of American adults, which is a very concerning number. Individual’s behavior and surroundings greatly influence the obesity factor.

2. Over 20 million teenagers in the US are obese.


Just like adult obesity, teen and child obesity is greatly influenced by their environment, as childhood obesity statistics show. Children and teens are also influenced by the behavior of their role models, parents, and adults in their immediate surroundings.

3. More than 13% of the world’s population was obese in 2016.


On a global level, more people are obese than underweight. Obesity was once considered to be a problem only in high-income countries, but today, overweight and obesity are on a high rise in low and middle-income countries, according to some of the recent obesity statistics worldwide.

4. Approximately 8% of all cancer cases in the United States are caused by obesity.


Overweight and obese people are more likely to have cancer. The obese mainly get breast cancer, endometrium, colon and rectum cancer, kidney esophagus, and pancreas cancer. Obesity can also cause cancers of the cervix and ovaries, gallbladder, liver, as well as multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

5. Over 90% of people who suffer from type 2 diabetes are overweight.


As some obesity statistics from the 2016 report, one’s chances of getting type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure rise as their body weight rises. Of course, diabetes is not only caused by high levels of body fat, but the vast majority that suffers from it is overweight.

6. There are more than ten causes of weight gain and obesity.


Weight gain and obesity can be triggered by almost any factor. Some of the leading causes for this epidemic include genetics, eating heavily processed foods, and food addiction.

According to childhood obesity facts, aggressive marketing, that is, marketing tactics that aim unhealthy products directly at children, is also a great part of this epidemic.

7. Obesity causes 300,000 deaths every year.


Right after tobacco use, this is the second leading cause of death that can be prevented. The rates of obesity among young people in the United States has been on a steady rise in the last decade, according to the latest CDC obesity statistics.

8. In 2008, obesity cost the United States healthcare $147 billion.


Obesity can cause both direct and indirect costs that have a great impact on the national healthcare system. Direct costs include diagnostic, preventive, and treatment services related to obesity. Indirect costs relate to morbidity and mortality costs, as well as productivity (absenteeism and presenteeism occurring due to obesity-related health issues).

Child Obesity Statistics

9. There were over 40 million infants and young children suffering from obesity in 2016.


Childhood obesity is the main cause of numerous serious medical problems. It can increase the risk of the premature start of diabetes, for example, as well as various heart diseases.

Infants and young children who are obese have high chances of being obese during their whole life if they don’t receive proper treatment. One of the effective ways of preventing this is exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months of life.

10. According to childhood obesity statistics from 2016, one in five children of school age were obese.


Genetic factors can’t be changed, but people and the environment can have a positive impact on children’s lives. If children spend more time in environments that have access to nutritious foods and physical activities, it can lower their chances of becoming obese.

11. Close to 15% of high school students were obese in 2017.

(The State of Obesity)

In addition to this, more than 15% of high schoolers were overweight, as the childhood obesity statistics from 2017 report. However, in recent years, there has been a decline in the consumption of carbonated drinks, time spent in front of the TV or a computer, and an increase in physical activity.

12. Obese children have 70% higher chances of being obese during their adulthood.


The majority of children spend more than two hours watching television every day. The technological advancement only leads to a greater percentage of an inactive lifestyle, which further leads to obesity and severe obesity in adulthood.

13. Child obesity facts show that obesity can be inherited at BMI rates of 25% to 40%.


When it comes to obesity in children, genetics plays a big role. Approximately 5% of obese children have inherited their obesity. Despite this, genetics are not the root cause of obesity, although they indeed have an impact.

14. Obesity affects 25% of children coming from minority ethnic groups.


As the latest obesity statistics report, the greatest numbers of obese children come from African American, Hispanic, and Native American ethnic groups. Various recent research also show that this can lead to discrimination among children and affect their social and societal acceptance.

Furthermore, this can cause issues with their mental health and lead to low self-esteem and depression.

Obesity Statistics in America

15. In 2017, there was no state with obesity under 20%.


The most obese states were Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, with over 30% of the obese population. In addition to this, a CDC survey has found that obesity prevalence was higher in women than in men.

16. Close to 30% of adults with high incomes are obese.


However, adults who are below the federal poverty line are even more likely to be obese. According to obesity rates in America, over 40% of adults with low income are overweight or obese.

17. Approximately 50% of Hispanics in the US are obese.


Obesity affects some groups more than others. Right besides Hispanics, the highest obesity prevalence is among non-Hispanic blacks, with over 45%. They are followed by non-Hispanic whites with over 35%, and non-Hispanic Asians with over 10%.

18. The average BMI of American men and women is over 26.


According to the US obesity statistics from 2015 and the National Health and Nutrition Survey, this is considered overweight. A healthy BMI is 18.4 to 24.9, which means that the average American must change their lifestyle and diet.

19. Overweight affects one out of every three adults.


Being overweight vs. obese is slightly less problematic. If a person has a body mass index from 25 to 29.9, it’s considered they have an overweight BMI. However, if their BMI is over 30, it’s considered they have an obese BMI. Finally, as the obesity in America facts report, a BMI over 40 indicates extreme obesity.

20. The American Cancer Society is spending over $10 million for obesity-related studies.


Since obese people are more likely to develop some type of cancer, the ACS has started funding several studies that are related to obesity. These studies research how chemical processes that happen in the body lead to obesity, how obesity affects cancer, and which methods lead to healthy lifestyle habits that decrease obesity in children and teenagers.

Worldwide Obesity Stats

21. Almost 2 billion adults across the world were overweight in 2016.

(Medical News Today)

That makes up for close to 40% of the population. Also, more than half of a million of these people were obese. The prevalence was higher in women than in men, and the number of people who struggle with weight is still growing.

22. More than 300 million children aged 5 to 19 are overweight or obese.

(Medical News Today)

As the latest overweight and obesity statistics show, almost 50% of all the overweight or obese children under the age of five live in Asia. Globally, the rates of obesity have tripled since 1975. In the same period, obesity in children aged 5 to 19 has risen from 1% to 7%.

23. Approximately one in five adults and one in six children from the OECD countries are considered to be obese or overweight.


As the CDC obesity facts show, the number varies from country to country, but it goes from 6% in Japan and Korea to 30% in New Zealand, Hungary, the US, and Mexico.

24. The least obese country in the world has only 2% obesity prevalence.

(World Population Review)

Vietnam is the country with the healthiest body mass index and weight. The overall average BMI is 21.6, which is the same as the average BMI in Afghanistan.

Statistics on Obesity-Related Health Issues

25. Over 65% of hypertension cases are caused by obesity.

(News Medical)

Research has shown a direct link between obesity and high blood pressure. The BMI affects both the systolic and diastolic blood pressures. High blood pressure related to obesity also impacts children and young adolescents.

26. Obesity increases the chances of developing arrhythmia by almost 50%.


The percentage of likeness rises with an increase in BMI. It’s estimated that by 2050, there will be over 8 million people who suffer from arrhythmia.

27. As obesity in America statistics show, obesity is the main cause for 25% of all infertility cases.

(Harvard T.H. Chan)

Additionally, obesity in women may lead to early and late miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and complications during labor and delivery. In men, obesity can cause low sperm count and poor sperm motility.

28. Asthma prevalence is higher by over 90% in obese people.

(News Medical)

However, the prevalence of asthma in overweight people is almost 40%. Either way, overweight or obese, according to obesity statistics in America from 2018, these patients get more acute attacks, need more asthma medication, more frequent visits to the ER, and have more hospital admissions than non-obese patients with asthma.

29. One-third of joint replacement patients are obese.

(Harvard T.H. Chan)

Obesity puts a great strain on one’s bones, joints, and muscles. Various studies have linked osteoarthritis of the knee and hip to obesity. This condition can also cause back pain, lower limb pain, and disability due to musculoskeletal conditions.

Cannabis and Obesity Statistics

30. People who use cannabis have lower rates of obesity by approximately 10%.


Some studies have shown that people who use cannabis have between 14% and 17% obesity rate, while those who don’t use it have between 22% and 25% obesity rate. Even though cannabis is associated with munchies and higher food consumption, cannabis users usually weigh less than non-users.

31. Cannabis users have a lower average BMI by 3% in comparison to non-users, as stated by America obesity statistics.


Women who use cannabis every day have over 3% lower average BMI than non-users. Also, men who are daily cannabis users have over 2% lower average BMI than non-users. A study has found that cannabis users were on average thinner and had lower blood glucose levels.

32. People who use cannabis consume over 600 calories more than non-users, but don’t gain weight.


Currently, there’s no conclusive evidence why cannabis users don’t gain weight, even though they eat more than non-users. There are several theories and studies, so the US obesity rate could be influenced by cannabis.

33. CBD can stimulate genes that break down fat.

(CBD Wellness Guide)

As we have said, there’s no definite proof, but some studies have shown that the use of CBD could stimulate some proteins and genes that break down fat, thus preventing obesity.

CBD can’t cure obesity, but it might be a beneficial supplement for a healthier lifestyle. In contrast, THC-heavy concentrates such as hashish can make you gain weight.

Bottom Line

Obesity has been on a steady rise in the past years, and it will continue growing. That’s why it’s of great importance to pay attention to our food choices and physical activity. Good lifestyle choices can prevent weight gain and treat the already existing problem.

These obesity statistics might look scary, but you need to know them to prevent obesity or help yourself or someone who is maybe too afraid to ask for help. Some causes are physical, but others can be psychological. CBD could be a way to prevent gaining extra weight, as some research shows. However, before making any changes in your lifestyle or diet, consult your doctor.


Which country has the highest rate of obesity?


The fattest country in the world, as the latest statistics show, is American Samoa, an unincorporated US territory in the South Pacific. Approximately 75% of their population is considered obese. The major causes of this epidemic in American Samoa are the lack of health education and consumption of processed, low quality food.

What is the obesity rate in America in 2019?

(The State of Obesity)

According to the data from September 2019, obesity exceeds 35% in nine states, 30% in 31 states, and 25% in 48 states. The highest adult obesity rates are in Mississippi and West Virginia (almost 40%). The lowest rate is in Colorado — only 23%.

How to deal with obesity?

(Mayo Clinic)

Obesity treatment usually starts with a weight loss program. Dietary changes and a general change of lifestyle can be of great help, as obesity facts in America have shown. In some cases, even weight loss medication or surgery can be recommended.

After the weight loss goal is achieved, it’s recommended to stay physically active and to continue following a healthy diet to prevent regaining weight.

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