Application of Epidemiology to Obesity
Dr. Donna Levesque
Managerial Epidemiology – HSA 535
June 06, 2012
This report identifies, analyzes and explains the obesity problem in the United States compared to other countries. It outlines factors and reasoning as to why the obesity rate in the United States is higher than other countries. These report further address points of health care cost, political issues, and proposed policies and laws related to obesity concerns in the United States and in the State of North Carolina. Further strategic efforts toward the prevention of obesity with government support and individual ...view middle of the document...
The Obesity Problem in the United States Compared to Other Countries
The number of reported cases of obesity in the United States has increased over the last decade or more. News reports, magazine articles, television advertisements, billboards along with various and have been successful in communicating to the public that the obesity problem in the United States is constantly on the rise and has developed into a serious health issue. According to Preston and Stokes (2011), “high levels of obesity has been and still is one of the main contributing factors that is causing the life expectancy in the United States to fall well below that of most industrialized countries and to rank 32nd in the world (Preston & Stokes, 2011, p. 2138).
Preston and Stokes (2011), conducted a study that compared the obesity death rate in the United States that in other countries. The study revealed that in a country to country comparisons of body mass index (BMI), the United States, in the categories of sex, age and economic status showed to have the highest number of cases of obesity and the lowest life expectancy in all relating categories (Preston & Stokes, 2011).
By the use of body mass index (BMI), Preston and Stokes’ aim was to analysis the average years of life lost by a population resulting from the level of obesity in that population. The following categories above the standard BMI categories were used to compare the obesity level in various European countries to the obesity level in the United State:
* “Overweight – BMI=25.00-29.99
* Obese Class I – BMI=30.00-34.99
* Obese Class II - BMI=35.00-39.00
* Obese Class III – BMI= ≥ 40.00” (Preston & Stokes, 2011, p. 2139).
Compared to the Netherlands and the other countries in the study, data revealed that “the portion of individuals exceeding the threshold for obesity classes I, II, and III was higher in the United States than in any other country for both men and women in all age categories (Preston & Stokes, 2011, p. 2139). The study further showed that the higher the BMI per age group the higher the decline in life expectancy in all the participating countries with the United States still holding first place (Preston & Stokes, 2011).
The study contributes low economic status, unhealthy eating habits which include large regular consumption so fat and lack of exercise to the growing rate of obesity in the United States. The study further reveals that the elimination of obesity in every country for both sexes would increase the life expectancy for that population. “A population with a higher than-optimal BMI would increase and improve US life expectancy at age 50 by an estimated 1.28 years for women and by 1.61 years for men. The estimated increase and improvement in life expectancy in other countries was estimated to be 0.73 years for females and 0.98 years for men” (Preston & Stokes, 2011, p. 2140). Based on this study, in comparison to the other...