Obesity is emerging as a health epidemic around the world. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups. An estimated 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese. That figure represents more than 50% of the American adult population. Of this group, 11 million adults suffer from severe obesity.
Obesity is an excess of total body fat, which results from caloric intake that exceeds energy usage. A measurement used to assess health risks of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI).
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The American Obesity Association reports that obese individuals have a 50-100% increased risk of death as compared to normal weight individuals, with 300,000 to 587,000 deaths each. This substantial increase in health risks has made obesity the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.