Excess weight is a problem facing an estimated 97 million adults in the United States. Currently, about one-fifth of all U.S. adults are believed to be considerably overweight. There are more "obese" people in the U.S. today than ever according to the American Dietetic Association.
According to the ADA there has been a 39% increase in obese teenagers. This is due to many factors, but genetics can certainly play a role. With two obese parents there is an 80% chance for a teen to be obese; with one parent, 40%; and with lean parents only a 10% chance. But, don't get discouraged. The chances are not 100% so obesity is not inevitable.
Before you decide to pursue a weight-loss program, you should understand the definition, causes and health risks of being overweight. Here is some important information:
The Difference Between Being Overweight and Being Obese
Many doctors use something called a Body Mass Index, or BMI, a measurement of weight that takes height into account. A person with a BMI of 25 to 29.99 is considered "overweight." A person with a BMI of 30 or greater, or who is at least 30 lbs overweight (depending on height), would be diagnosed as “obese”, the condition of being considerably overweight.