2. Obesity

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the national public health institute of the United States headquartered in Atlanta, GA, an obese adult is one who has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

Looking at the latest CDC statistics:

  • The prevalence of obesity is 39.8% of adults in the US, affecting about 93.3 million of the U.S. population.
  • The estimated medical cost of obesity was $147 billion in 2008, those individuals with obesity had an increased medical cost of $1,429 more than those of normal weight.

Additional statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):

  • It is projected by 2030, about 115 million adults in the U.S. will be obese.
  • The annual coast of being obese is $4,879 for women and $2,646 for men.

Take a look at CDCs interactive map, showing the recent increase of obesity rates across the United States:

imageThis is not a trend that is decreasing either. If you watch the interactive map, using Georgia as an example, in 2011, the obesity rate was 25-<30%.  However, in 2018, the obesity rate increased to 30-<35% in Georgia.

However, despite these alarming statistics, universities across the country are reducing, and in many cases, cutting undergraduate requirements for physical education. According to a USA Today article, some of the reasons include: to emphasize more of a focus on their future careers and skills, to decrease costs and increase the rate of graduation, and to shift away from taking classes outside a student’s major.


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Ch. 2 - Relevance by UGA PEDB Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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