Morbid Obesity Rates Continue to Rise Rapidly in the United States
Published in: International Journal of Obesity, Sep. 18, 2012
Clinically severe or morbid obesity (body mass index (BMI) >40 or 50 kg m−2) entails far more serious health consequences than moderate obesity for patients, and creates additional challenges for providers. The paper provides time trends for extreme weight categories (BMI >40 and >50 kg m−2) until 2010, using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Between 2000 and 2010, the prevalence of a BMI >40 kg m−2 (type III obesity), calculated from self-reported height and weight, increased by 70%, whereas the prevalence of BMI >50 kg m−2 increased even faster. Although the BMI rates at every point in time are higher among Hispanics and Blacks, there were no significant differences in trends between them and non-Hispanic Whites. The growth rate appears to have slowed down since 2005. Adjusting for self-report biases, we estimate that in 2010 15.5 million adult Americans or 6.6% of the population had an actual BMI >40 kg m−2. The prevalence of clinically severe obesity continues to be increasing, although less rapidly in more recent years than prior to 2005.
- What has been the trend in rates of clinically severe or morbid obesity since 2000 in the U.S.?
Morbid obesity rates in the U.S. continue to rise rapidly.
- The relative rate of increase is similar across population subgroups, even though the prevalence at every point in time differs across groups.
- Trajectories do not differ across groups, but the most disadvantaged group appears to be just a few years ahead of others.
- Copyright: MacMillan Publishers Ltd
- Availability: Non-RAND
- Pages: 3
- Document Number: EP-51074
- Year: 2012
- Series: External Publications
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