Obesity/Chronic Illness

Obesity is one of the nation’s most pressing health problems and is related to the growing number of Americans living with a chronic disease such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. The U.S. adult obesity rate passed the 40 percent mark for the first time in 2019, standing at 42.4 percent, according to State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America.  The national adult obesity rate has increased by 26 percent since 2008, and, socioeconomic factors such as poverty and discrimination have contributed to higher rates of obesity among certain racial and ethnic populations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately six in ten adults in the United States have at least one chronic disease.  Chronic diseases are estimated to be responsible for approximately 80 percent of all healthcare spending nationally, and in part explain the decrease in life expectancy for middle-aged whites over the past 15 years. Many chronic conditions are preventable through lifestyle changes and a focus on the social determinants of health; such changes could save trillions of dollars in healthcare spending annually.

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Data in Detail

Percentage of Adults with Chronic Conditions