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Obesity Statistics

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Obesity is Growing in the United States

Obesity is at an all-time high. In the United States, about 42% of adults aged 20 and older are obese while 71.6% are overweight, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Globally, more than one in ten individuals suffer from obesity. Because condition poses a number of serious health risks, it is important to understand the numbers behind this unfortunate trend.

At Tijuana Bariatric Center in Tijuana, Mexico, we offer several different types of bariatric surgeries to help patients achieve their weight loss goals, improve their health and overall quality of life.

Defining Obesity

Medical professionals consider obesity to be a condition in which a person develops excess body fat, also known as adipose tissue. Carrying extra fat can cause health complications, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, among other problems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that obesity is characterized by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. This disease is further divided into three classes:

  • Class III: BMI of 40 or higher (categorized as severe or extreme obesity)
  • Class I: BMI between 30 and 34
  • Class II: BMI between 35 and 39

Obesity by Gender

As mentioned, about 42 percent of Americans are overweight. The National Center for Health Statistics indicated the following percentages in 2017-2018:

  • 34.1 percent of men are considered overweight.
  • 34 percent of men are considered obese.
  • 6.9 percent of men are considered extremely obese.
  • 27.5 percent of women are considered overweight.
  • 41.9 percent of women are considered obese.
  • 11.5 percent of women are considered extremely obese.

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Stats by Ethnicity

Over the past several decades, all ethnic groups have witnessed an increase in this affliction. Non-Hispanic Black adults have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity at 49.6 percent, followed by Hispanic adults at 44.8 percent. Non-Hispanic white adults have a rate of 42.2 percent, followed by Asian adults at 17.4 percent.

Stats by Age

Data shows people between the ages of 40 and 59 are more likely to be overweight. 44.8 percent of that age group are considered obese in the United States. 40 percent of those aged 20 to 39 are obese, while 42.8 percent of those over 60 are considered overweight.

Stats on Children

Childhood obesity is a serious problem and continues to grow, putting children and adolescents-at risk for poor health. Statistics from a 2017-2018 study among children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years found:

  • The prevalence of obesity was 19.3 percent, affecting about 14.4 million children and adolescents
  •  Among 2- to 5-year-olds 13.4 percent were obese, 21.2 percent of 6- to 11-year-olds were obese and 21.2 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds were obese
  • Childhood obesity affects 25.6 percent of Hispanic children, 24.2 percent of non-Hispanic Black children, 16.1 percent of non-Hispanic White children and 8.7 percent of Asian children

Global Statistics on Obesity

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that global obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. In years past, this disease was more prevalent in high-income countries. Obesity rates in Canada are not quite as high as in the United States, but the country has seen a similar rising trend over the past three decades.

Currently, however, obesity is on the rise in low- and middle-income countries as well. In fact, many individuals in these countries suffer from malnutrition and obesity simultaneously.

The countries with the highest prevalence of obesity include:

·        Saudi Arabia

·        Qatar

·         Nauru

·         Cook Islands

·         Palau

·         Marshall Islands

·         Tuvalu

·         Niue

·      Tonga

·      Samoa

·      Kiribati

·      Micronesia

·      Kuwait

·      United States

·      Jordan

What Does the Future Hold?

If current trends continue, over half of the U.S. population will be obese by the year 2030. In addition:

  • There will be a 130 percent increase in extreme obesity.
  • Six million cases of diabetes will be attributed to obesity.
  • Five million new cases of coronary heart disease will be linked to obesity.
  • Obesity-related medical costs will exceed 200 billion dollars.

Contact Tijuana Bariatric Center for More Information

Obesity is directly linked to a number of serious associated long-term health concerns, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, sleep apnea and even several mental health disorders.


Even if you have started to develop one or more of these conditions leading to obesity, bariatric surgery can help reverse and possibly eliminate some of your health risks. Learn more about the weight loss procedures offered at Tijuana Bariatric Center by contacting us online anytime or calling 800-970-0577 to schedule a free virtual consultation.

Author: Dr. Fernando Garcia Govea

Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Garcia is a highly qualified surgeon, and has more than eight years of bariatric treatment experience and two decades in the medical field. His experience (10,000+ procedures) helps him work with all patients including those with a BMI of 80 or higher to improve their quality of life.

Read more here: Fernando Garcia Govea

Dr Garcia

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