2014 Obesity Statistics: People Want to be Healthy
It’s a well-established fact that Americans have an obesity problem. At bistroMD, we understand this better than anyone, as our day to day work involves helping real people lose weight and regain a healthy relationship with food. In our interactions with our program members, we noticed that many knew very little about their weight management problem, other than that they wanted to be rid of it. To get a better understanding of people’s perceptions of obesity we created a survey and asked them to provide information pertaining to their physical attributes with relation to weight, as well as their perceptions of their current weight. Lastly, we asked how respondents would most like to be identified as when they reached their targets.
Shockingly, we found that over 91% of respondents reported a current and ongoing effort to lose weight! That’s 9 in 10 Americans. Further, when asked how much weight they wanted to lose, 53% stated that they are trying to lose 30 pounds, or more, and 19% stated a desire to lose more than 60. Fully, this accounts for almost 3 in 4 survey respondents being classified as a minimum of overweight, and places most squarely in the category of obese.
In gathering data surrounding obesity, we found that the average obese American man spends and extra $1,152 a year in medical expenses, while the average for women is more than triple that at $3,613 a year. Further, our research uncovered the staggering statistic that cars burn an additional 1 billion gallons of gas, per year, due to carrying the extra weight of obese individuals. The total cost of obesity is estimated at as much as $190 billion, annually.
We were most encouraged by the responses we collected regarding how people want to be identified when they reach their weight loss goal, and found that nearly 50% of respondents selected “healthy” from a list of 15 choices ranging from words with generally negative connotations to words with generally positive connotations, such as thin, athletic, and skinny.
At the end of the day, people just want to be HEALTHY.