Obesity in the United States has been increasingly cited as a major health issue in recent decades. While many industrialized countries have experienced similar increases, obesity rates in the United States are among the highest in the world.
Obesity has continued to grow within the United States. Two out of every three Americans are considered to be overweight or obese. During the early 21st century, America often contained the highest percentage of obese people in the world. Obesity has led to over 120,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States. An obese person in America is likely to incur $1,429 more in medical expenses annually. Approximately $147 billion is spent in added medical expenses per year within the United States.
The United States had the highest rate of obesity for large countries, until obesity rates in Mexico surpassed those of the United States in 2013. From 13% obesity in 1962, estimates have steadily increased. The following statistics comprise adults age 20 and over living at or near the poverty level. The obesity percentages for the overall US population are higher reaching 19.4% in 1997, 24.5% in 2004, 26.6% in 2007, and 33.8% (adults) and 17% (children) in 2008. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported higher numbers once more, counting 35.7% of American adults as obese, and 17% of American children. In 2013 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that 27.6% of American citizens were obese. In 2014, 35.3% of American adults were shown to be overweight. The organization estimates that 3/4 of the American population will likely be overweight or obese by 2020.
Obesity has been cited as a contributing factor to approximately 100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year and has increased health care use and expenditures, costing society an estimated $117 billion in direct (preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to weight) and indirect (absenteeism, loss of future earnings due to premature death) costs. This exceeds health-care costs associated with smoking or problem drinking and accounts for 6% to 12% of national health care expenditures in the United States.