While this organization is better known for economic-related forecasts, the impact of obesity on country economics prompted the development of this new obesity report. While the full report is available only through purchase, parts of the report like the executive summary and some of the country data are available to read at no cost. Some of the key facts from this new obesity report are listed below.
Key Facts from the 33 OECD Countries:
- 50% of the population in nearly half of the OECD countries is overweight or obese.
- Children with at least one obese parent are 3-4 times more likely to become obese
- Obesity results in a 25% higher cost of healthcare expenses. In fact, according to this study, obesity is responsible for 1-3% of total healthcare costs in most OECD countries (5-10% in the U.S.)
- Obesity decreases life expectancy by 8-10 years.
- Poorly educated women are 2-3 times more likely to be obese than women with a high level of education.
- Japan and Korea have the lowest prevalence of overweight (~25%) and obese (3%) individuals.
- The United States and Mexico have the highest rates of overweight (nearly 70%) and obese (~33%) people.
- The United States and Scotland have the highest rates of childhood obesity (35%).
Key Facts from the United States:
- 75% of the U.S. population is predicted to be overweight or obese by the year 2020.
- While women with poor education are 1.3 times more likely to be overweight compared to women with a higher level of education, this disparity does not exist in men.
- Obesity rates are 17% higher in African-American women and 6% higher in Mexican-American women compared to Caucasian women.
- Childhood obesity overall, currently at about 40%, appears to have become relatively stable and is not expected to increase.
- The highest rates of childhood obesity in the U.S.
are in Hispanic boys (23%) and African-American girls (21%)
- Children from poorer families are more than 1.5 times more likely to become obese compared to children from higher income families.
The authors of this new obesity report blame the increasing rates of obesity around the world to the usual things... availability of inexpensive, nutrient poor foods, increased rates of dining out, poor dietary habits, and lack of exercise. To battle these rising rates of overweight and obese individuals, the authors of this report suggest that improving dietary habits and increasing physical activity through various means (health education, regulatory measures, and counseling by healthcare professionals) are all effective, cost efficient strategies that need to be reinforced. This and previous obesity-related reports clearly indicate that we have a serious weight problem, particularly here in the U.S., and that we have a lot of work ahead of us to reverse this dangerous trend.