Obesity in America

U.S. Obesity Rate Higher Than Ever

  • CDC estimates 42.4% of U.S. adults had obesity and 9.2% had severe obesity in 2017, the highest incidence ever recorded in America (latest report).
    • Non-Hispanic Black adults (49.6%) had the highest prevalence of obesity, followed by Hispanic adults (44.8%), non-Hispanic White adults (42.2%) and non-Hispanic Asian adults (17.4%)
    • 2 states have an obesity prevalence of 35% or more — Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia

Premature Death and Life-threatening Diseases Linked to Obesity

  • Obesity is linked to more than 40 other diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable and premature death.
    • Overweight and obesity were associated with nearly 1 in 5 deaths (18.2%) in the U.S. between 1986 and 2006, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Treatment with Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

  • Metabolic/bariatric surgery is the most effective and durable treatment for severe obesity leading to significant weight loss and the improvement, prevention or resolution of many related diseases.
    • Studies show bariatric surgery may reduce a patient’s risk of premature death by 30-50%
    • Patients may lose as much as 60% of excess weight six months after surgery and 77% of excess weight as early as 12 months after surgery
    • Overall, bariatric surgery has complication and mortality rates (4% and 0.1%, respectively) comparable to some of the safest and most commonly performed surgeries in the U.S., including gallbladder surgery, appendectomy and knee replacement.

Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery is Significantly Underutilized

  • An estimated 256,000 bariatric surgeries were performed in 2019, which represents less than 1% of the currently eligible surgical population based on body mass index (BMI).
    • Nearly 60% were sleeve gastrectomies, an increasingly popular procedure that involves removing most of the stomach and shaping the remainder into a tube or sleeve, restricting the amount of food it can hold. About 18% of procedures were gastric bypass.