August 4th, 2010
03:24 PM ET

CDC: More people obese now than in 2007

The number of obese people in the United States has increased by 2.4 million since 2007, according to a CDC special report released Tuesday.

The report also says that 9 states – up from 3 in 2007 – now report obesity levels at 30 percent or higher (in 2000, no states were in that category). Not a single state has reached the 15 percent goal set in the CDC's "Healthy People 2010" initiative.

"Obesity is a major public health problem," said CDC Director, Dr. Thomas Frieden. "We need intensive and ongoing efforts to address obesity, or more people will get sick and die from the complications of obesity, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer."

In addition to the added number of obese people, the report also explored the costs associated with obesity and related conditions.

"In 2008 dollars, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billon," Frieden said. "That translates into medical costs for people who are obese that were $1,429 higher per person each year, compared to normal-weight individuals."

Frieden, and Dr. Bill Dietz, Director of CDC's Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, went on to say that national programs like the Let's Move campaign and state programs that address health-related infrastructure are steps in the right direction.

"Obesity is a societal problem, and it will take a societal response," Frieden said.

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soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. Jenny

    hate to say it but obesity is not something we can control; diets and exercise is not a permanent solution to the problem. In the case of Morbidly Obese or higher classification of obesity, weight loss surgery is the only guaranteed way to lose weight. Many obese people have low thyroid levels which make losing weight extremely difficult and their metabolism is all over the place. They need to control their sugars and carbohydrates; even with the surgery.

    I view surgery as a tool to be used to help combat the problem. It can undo a lot of the damage caused by obesity such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea. So please do not say that all obese people are lazy and spend all day eating. spend a day with them and you will change your mind. For the future, i recommend that schools teach nutrition classes to teach about portion control, right food choices and what they need for their growing bodies. In France this education starts in grade school and follows them until graduation. This teaching is why we rarely see obesity in France.

    August 5, 2010 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Shandon

    Limit the number of calories you put into your mouth. Parents should do this for their children and explain why limiting calories leads to a longer, healthier life. It really is that simple.

    August 5, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jane1114

      Well. I actually think eating small portions often (i.e. salad, cashews, tuna, fruite) will help speed up your metabolism. If you eat less calories you're not getting enough glucose into you body and you will feel tired and your metabolism slows down and you feel hungry more often.

      August 10, 2010 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
    • ALLY

      In the healthiest hotspots around the world, people eat more calories than us but are thinner. It is because they pick a better source of calories. Check out BLUE ZONES (longest living people in the world).

      January 13, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
  3. C A

    Blyden Potts:
    My food bill almsot tripled when I decided last year to switch to a specialized vegetarian diet my doctor recommended. Much of my weight gain resulted from living off beans and rice, or pasta, because it was cheap. Pasta cost $1.99 for 3 pounds: quinoa (which doesn't spike my blood sugar) costs $15.00 for the same weight. Blueberries in New England cost $4.95 to $6.50 for 16 ounces midwinter, and my doctor recommends I have 6 ounces per day as part of the meal plan he's recommnded. I've gotten stellar results (60 pounds in the past year) but affordability of food is hugely influenced by location and accessibility. It's cheaper now, because we finally started harvesting up here, and I have a garden, but the $100 per week is what I paid mid-winter last year.

    August 5, 2010 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. popechronicV

    Put down those chicken fingers and get up and dance. Move, eat less, loose weight

    August 5, 2010 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. squirk

    I am 203 pounds, and am five foot five and a half tall. I know I am over weight. Three days a week I work out on treadmill with the setting on hill so I am walking , fast walk on incline for up to an hour at 3 miles/hour. I am working my way up to four miles per hour. Here's the thing: How do you get your body to STOP craving food in middle of the night? This always happens on days I work out.

    August 6, 2010 at 00:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Liz

      I know that I sound like a broken record, but read this book called "Health at Every Size" by Dr. Linda Bacon. She talks all about that – there actually are mental exercises you can do that will change the way you view food. There could be very good reason you're hungry at night after working out. Your body may actually need food. If your body needs food, it'll tell you by signaling you w/ hunger pangs- which means you should eat. Trust your body signals, eat and enjoy your food, pay attention to how you feel while eating, and (and this is key) stop eating when you're satisfied, not full. After a while, you'll notice that the full feeling becomes uncomfortable. But if you're not hungry but just craving food, that's different. You may want to think about where the craving stems from and try to work that out.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • Jane1114

      STRENGTH TRAIN!!! 🙂 Try incorporating wieghtlifting with your cardio. Not only will you build lean muscles but your Metabolism will sky rocket and you fill less hungry. Give it a try. Start with the small muscle groups and go on the larger ones. I hope this will help you out. 🙂

      August 10, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
  6. Concerned not Crazy

    There are so many good points here from people who think they are arguing and the point is, they are all vaid and true to some extent.

    1, Health Condition vs Lifestyle: Yes, there are some folks with a legitimate medical condition , but the majority of the obese are just fat from lifestyle choices. We should always be supportine of each other for trying to lose weight

    2. Yes: Healthy food (fresh food)is expensive: It is true. But you don't have to buy all organic at Wegmans. There are so many value choices. Whole wheat bread, skim milk, soup, eggs, bananas, pop corn, forzen vegetables were cheap last time I checked. Fat free hot dogs or the lite hot dogs are 2 for 1 somewhere every week. Do people look at the serving size recommendations? Are you controllong portions of even the processed foods. Be aware of your coloric intake. Most of us simply eat too much.

    3. Skinny People: I don't think anyone is arguing that anyone should look like skinny supermodels. Especially women. There is a huge gap between size 0 and BMI of 25 however.

    4. Most people say they want to eat healthy but don't buy healthy when they get to the order counter. McDonalds offer salads that are good and of appropriate colarie count for a single meal. Most people don't buy them, they buy Quarter Pounder and Big n Tasty meals that are more than double the size in calories and more than double in fat.

    Try the EAT THIS, NOT THAT boolks. Great ideas for substituting everyday choices fro bad to good.

    5. Exercise. Allways work with your doctor before you hurt yourself with an exercise regimen. Most of the overweight I see at the gym generally don't work out very hard. Speed 3 on an treadmill for 20 minutes isn't going to do it. We burn about 100 calories per mile whether you walk or run. Think about it, If a Big Mac has a thousand calories, you have to walk or run 10 miles to burn it off. There is a flurry of activity in Jan Feb, lots of overweight folks come to the gym and then they disappear by March..
    This happens year in and year out.

    6. High Fructose Corn Syrup: There may be something to this. I've heard it before. STEER CLEAR OF SUGARARED SOFT DRINKS. WAT TOO MANY CALORIES!!!

    7. Too Much TV and Computers: We simply don't get out as much. Even low levels of activity burn calories. Go out and garden, take walks, go to the park, run, throw a frisbee, golf, play kick the can. It doesn't have to be expensive. Just unplug and go. People say they don't have time, but as a society we spend insane amounts of time on facebook and TV. They data indicates we have time, we just choose not to be active.

    8. We need to stigmatize obesity. Not people with legitimate health issues. We need to set up a culture that admires active healthy people. We idolize sports heroes. Yet we sit our butts in chairs every Sunday, drink beer, eat chips, and watch other people exercise from 1-7 PM. We should be out there doing stuff, not watching stuff.

    August 6, 2010 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Kerry

    HaHa!! You don't have to print an article about it - just go to a public place with lots of people and all you see is a sea of fat!!

    August 6, 2010 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JD

    Nobody is going to the real cause of obesity. Are folks not aware of it? It has to do with whatever we put inside the body. We have meat which takes 16 hours to digest. On top of that all that meat is from hybrid animal sources. We need meat from naturally raised animals. Same principle applies on the vegetarian side. No amount of exercise or eating habits can address this issue unless we change our food. No canned food, no hybrid foods. Farming should be looking at growing healthy foods instead of going after greater financial gains. All pesticide should be oriented towards healthy plants rather than faster or abundant growth. Hope somebody pays " attention".

    August 7, 2010 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jay Bee

    I think it's interesting that it's socially acceptable to give smokers a hard time about smoking, and the poor health choice it is, yet telling someone to put down the cheeseburger and go for a walk is still considered rude. Fat people are just as much of a drain on the health care system, if not worse, than smokers, but yet it's still 'rude' to call someone on being a fat, lazy terd, but totally fine to harass a smoker.

    August 8, 2010 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Zed

    The fact of the manner is that everyone makes food decision every day. No one is forced to go to fast food jot and eat their food until one is stuffed. No one is forced to eat all the junk food. In the end, is your choice. Every time I go to the supermarket, I see the overweight and obese. I look at their carts filled with junk food. Who's forcing them to buy those? There lies the problem and unless one really sit-down and evaluate their situation, they will be stuck in there epidemic. A few days ago, I was in a supermarket. There was a obese women in a wheelchair. She was telling her husband and kids (2) want to get. Her cart was filled with cheap white bread (10+bags), ice cream, processed food, etc. Her husband was overweight but no way near his wife weight. It was sad. What would have happen if I preach her the Primal Gospel? I probably would have gotten a beat down by her big husband.....lol

    The fact that many were either overweight or obese proves that one can CHANGE if they want to. I just can't imagine a obese looking at them-self in the mirror and saying "I look good. I am healthy". If they do, there are in a state of denial.

    Google "The Primal Blueprint". Many have got great results following this lifestyle. Many think that fats (Especially saturated fats) are to blame for obesity, but this is not the case. A high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet has been proven to be a effective weight lose program and for overall health management.

    August 8, 2010 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jane1114

      Totally agree with you Zed. We can complain about how there is too much fast food, too much processed foods in America all we want, that ain't going to make an indivisual loose weight. It's the individuals own decision to be healthy. Many people have done that by getting their butt off the couch and do physical activies and eating right.

      Sure, our jobs make us all tired and lazy at the end of the day but a small amount of physical exercise isn't hard. And in the long term can benefit even the most unfit indivisuals.

      August 10, 2010 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
  11. em

    Obesity is a huge problem in this country and it's disappointing to see it continue to increase. It is not impossible to manage healthy lifestyles, despite the current workplace etc. Those are just excuses. Just because the economy sucks doesn't mean that's permission for people to eat themselves silly – that correlation doesn't even make sense. Good, healthy food is affordable and easy to come by if you're willing to look. And exercise – despite what everyone says – is FREE. Walk down the street. Work out in your home. Situps, pushups, crunches, jumping jacks, lunges, squats.... it's all free. You don't need a gym to be healthy. Does a healthy lifestyle involve sacrifice? Yes. But so does being obese if people haven't noticed. Are there certain cases where morbidly obese people really are experiencing a medical problem? Yes, but there not as common as everyone thinks. Healthy eating starts in the womb and goes from there. If people aren't taught by their parents what to and what not eat, they may never learn. People need to start taking responsibility for their actions.

    August 11, 2010 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. abc

    People CHOOSE to be fat. Most Americans choose to eat high-fat junk every day. Also, many people complain that there isn't time to exercise, but then spend several hours each night watching TV. We're killing ourselves.

    August 17, 2010 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Kyle

    people are too lazy and concerned with other things to worry about their own health. Losing weight isn't complicated, but it takes hard work. check out http://www.diet-myths.com , pretty much explains how you have to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight.

    August 21, 2010 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. pixy

    I don't understand why they can't heavily tax high caloric foods (i.e. fast food). Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the states. They can tax the crap out of cigarettes and other things that are deemed unhealthy. Why not this?

    August 31, 2010 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
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    August 31, 2010 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ALLY

    You can stay perfectly thin without any exercise if you eat healthy. I am not advocating this lifestyle, but I am saying that America is fat because of the FOOD. I have had a recurring foot injury for 3 years. I sit in front of the computer, do simple chores and take a small walk every day. Unfortunately, I am mostly sedentary. But I have never gained weight. I eat squash and sweet potatoes instead of pasta, drink water (not juice or soda), snack on cherries and tangerines, eat ice cream made in the blender from frozen bananas and cashews and dates. Sushi, soup and curried legumes. People CAN eat cheaply if their dietary staples are sweet potatoes, legumes and squash.

    January 13, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
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