Weight Loss 101

Did you know that more than one-third of Americans are considered obese? (1) Yes, nearly 40% of the U.S. population was obese in 2016, representing 98.3 million U.S. adults (1). If trends continue, obesity could impact more than half of the U.S. population by 2030 (2).

Being overweight or obese has a major effect in one’s basic health and quality of life (3). Evidence shows that obesity is a critical underlying driver of several of the most expensive and deadly diseases, including ischemic heart disease, stroke, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, hypertriglyceridemia, type 2 diabetes and even certain types of cancers (5,6,7). Therefore, an increasing body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased mortality (4).

In addition, obesity carries a significant burden to patients and health systems, from a cost point-of-view. The annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008. On a cost per person basis, this translates into costs that are $1,429 higher per person for individuals with obesity compared to those with normal weight (1).

Reasons for Weight Loss

Evidence shows that even a modest 3% to 5% sustained loss of body weight is likely to result in clinically meaningful health benefits, such as reductions in hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and type 2 diabetes (8).

Weight loss of 10% or higher has shown reductions in lifetime medical care costs between $3300 and $3800 per person (9,10).

It’s not only about how you look, it’s about your health

Being overweight or obese has a major effect in one’s basic health and quality of life (3). Obesity is a critical underlying driver of several of the deadly diseases, often referred to “co-morbidities” in the context of obesity. An increasing body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased mortality (4).

To help you understand how obesity relates to these co-morbidities, click on each link below and learn more.