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​​​​​​​​Obesity Facts

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery is a national society focused on improving public health and well-being by lessening the burden of obesity and related diseases throughout the world. The ASMBS has released some key facts about obesity.

​Obesity in America

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease of obesity affects about 78 million Americans 1 and the ASMBS estimates about 24 million have severe or morbid obesity.

  • Categorized as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, obesity is linked to more than 40 diseases including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis and cancer. 2,3

  • Obesity is associated with a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of premature death compared to healthy weight individuals. 4

    • Median survival is reduced by two to four years for individuals with a BMI of 30 to 35.
    • Median survival is reduced by eight to 10 years for individuals with a BMI of 40 to​ 45 (comparable to smoking).
  • Weight loss as modest as 5 to 15 percent of total body weight in a person who is overweight or has obesity reduces the risk factors for some diseases, particularly heart disease. 5

  • U.S. economic costs of the disease of obesity were $270 billion in 2011 and $72 billion for overweight individuals. 6

O​​besity: BMI of 30 is a Turning Point for Increased Disease Risk

  • BMI is a strong predictor of overall mortality 16 and is associated with a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of premature death compared to healthy weight individuals.17

  • A BMI of 30 to 35 is associated with a reduction in median survival by two to four years.15

  • Being obese or overweight comes with an increased risk of developing more than 40 diseases and health conditions including:18,19​​

    • Type 2 diabetes

    • Certain types of cancer

    • Infertility

    • Sleep apnea

    • Gallstones

    • Liver disease and gallbladder disease

    • Orthopedic problems

    • High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke


View the PDF for a full list of r​eferences.