Obesity is the most important public health issue of the 21st century. Thankfully this long neglected problem is finally receiving more attention from physicians, insurers, and government.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 55% or 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese. At least 33% (58 million) of adults are considered overweight (BMI of 25.0 - 29.9), and 22% (39 million) are obese (BMI > 30.0).4 As recent as 1980, the prevalence of both overweight and obesity has increased dramatically, and has since shown no sign of improvement.
Approximately 25% of children and adolescents are overweight, a figure which has doubled in 30 years. (Troiano, R.P. and Flegal, K.M. Overweight Children and Adolescents: Description, Epidemiology, and Demographics. Pediatrics 101(3):497-504, 1998.)
There are numerous epidemiological studies of obesity and site-specific malignancies, one of the largest of which is the American Cancer Society (ACS) Study involving more than 1 million men and women. Through the last follow-up year (1972), 93 percent of the subjects were traced (alive or dead)...
A 1992 N.I.H. (National Institute of Health) Assessment shows that 95% to 98% of people who lose weight by conventional methods regain it in less than 5 years.
Health insurance companies often do not pay for the treatment of obesity. Individuals with obesity require more medications than persons of normal weight, yet they are often denied coverage or reimbursement for drugs to specifically treat obesity.