WHAT IS OBESITY?:Obesity is a label for ranges of weight that are greater than what is typically considered healthy for a given height as well as ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems. A person’s body mass index (BMI) is used to determine whether they are obese because it correlates with their amount of body fat. Adults with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese; however some athletes can have BMIs that would indicate that they are overweight when that is not the case. (Source: www.cdc.gov

HEALTH PROBLEMS RELATED TO OBESITY: Obesity has been linked to many health issues. Here are just a few problems that can occur as a result of being obese

  1. Sleep apnea and respiratory problems.
  2. Cancer: being overweight increases the risk for breast, colon, gallbladder, and uterine cancer in women and the risk of colon and prostate cancer in men. 
  3. Joint problems, including osteoarthritis because of extra stress placed on the joints from excess weight. (Source: www.stanfordhospital.org)

OBESITY AROUND THE WORLD:  More than 300 million people in the entire world are considered obese and more than 750 million people are overweight. Obesity rates are the highest in some Pacific nations with a rate of 75%, and some of the lowest are found in Asian countries with an obesity rate of only 2%. 30.5% of adults in the United States are obese and health care costs attributable to obesity exceed $100 billion in the United States, which is 6% of the overall health care costs in the country. Obesity rates seem to be rising all over the world, with the percentage of overweight children in the world doubling from 1980 to 2000. (Source: www.faqs.org)

CENTER FOR HUMAN NUTRITION: Samuel Klein, M.D., from the overfeeding study is the medical director and program founder of the Weight Management Program, director of the Clinical Nutrition Research Unit, and director of the Veronica and Robert C. Atkins Center for Excellence in Obesity Medicine. The Clinical Nutrition Research Unit has received $35 million in National Institutes of Health grants to support pioneering research on obesity. The research is directed at understanding the mechanisms responsible for the subcellular changes obesity produces. Other than the aforementioned overfeeding study, NIH grants are also funding a major effort to pinpoint the relationship between obesity and the growing problem of nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease. This is all a part of Klein and his colleagues’ attack on obesity. (Source: www.wustl.edu)
* For More Information, Contact:

Judy Martin
Director of Media Relations
Washington University School of Medicine
(314) 286-0105
martinju@wustl.edu