Obesity Deaths Are Three Times Higher Than Previously Predicted

Study shows 1 in 5 white and black Americans die from obesity-related illness.
Study shows 1 in 5 white and black Americans die from obesity-related illness.

A new study shows more Americans are dying from weight-related health problems. The news comes on the heels of the CDC announcement about improving childhood obesity rates.

The numbers are higher than expected

Research published in the American Journal of Public Health reveals at least 18 percent of white and black Americans are dying from problems connected to weight. That’s about three times higher than was previously predicted.

“We expect that obesity will be responsible for an increasing share of deaths in the United States, and perhaps even lead to declines in U.S. life expectancy,” said Ryan Masters, the lead study author and researcher with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Most policy initiatives are correct in trying to target people early in life to try and stave off this obesity problem in new generations.”

Race and age matter

Even with additional weight loss tools, mortality rates are still climbing. Medications like Xencial, an oral weight loss medication, and various surgeries now offer additional help, but researchers say it’s not enough.

While the additional options don’t seem to sway the results, the study shows a person’s age and race does.

Obesity mortality rates are are shocking to some.
Obesity mortality rates are shocking to some.

“Past research in this area lumped together all Americans, but obesity prevalence and its effect on mortality differ substantially based on your race or ethnicity, how old you are and when you were born,” Masters tells CNN.

“It’s important for policy-makers to understand that different groups experience obesity in different ways. “

Take a look at some of the statistics uncovered from this study:

  • They found an estimated 26.8% of deaths among black women were caused by weight.
  • About 21.7% of deaths among white women were caused by weight.
  • About 15.6% of deaths among white men were due to obesity.
  • Black men had the lowest percentage with 5% of deaths due to weight.

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