Why Mozart In Shape

Obesity, Healthcare & Childhood

International Obesity Diagram

Since the 1970’s, academic studies have been pointing out the alarming growth of obesity in the US. But it took 30 years before US Surgeon General’s report in 2001 to declare obesity as a national health problem. This finally caught the attention of national media, and became the subject of numerous governmental and philanthropic efforts directed at controlling obesity. Despite a multitude of projects that were run on all levels, from national to local administrations, the rate of obesity-growth continues to be on the rise. Today, it has reached the status of global pandemic.

Alarming statistics:

Reports from numerous fields depict an alarming situation: the rise in obesity puts our children at serious risk of contracting life-threatening diseases that were previously associated only with older age, such as type-2 diabetes or hepatic steatosis.

A 2009 study shows that Obesity has overtaken cigarette-smoking as the leading cause of preventable deaths in the US.

  • Employers lose an estimated 20 work-days a year for each obese employee.
  • General Motors (GM) pays an estimated $1,500 per car produced, in health-care coverage costs to employees and retirees. This is more than what they pay for steel.
  • In 2000, the total cost of obesity in the US was estimated as $117 billion, with $61 billion towards medical costs.
International Obesity Diagram
  • In 2006, $147 billion was spent on obesity-related medical care.
  • More than 25% of the rise in medical costs, between 1987 and 2001, is attributable to obesity.
  • US health-care costs in 2007 ($2.2 trillion) was over 3x higher than in 1990 (3x higher in 17 years), and more than 8x higher than in 1980 (8x higher in 27 years). This spending accounted for 16.2% of the nation's GDP.
  • Obesity-related and overweight-related diseases cause more than 100,000 preventable deaths each year.

Ethnic-specific studies suggest that overweight and obesity may afflict up to 30-40% of children and youth from minority populations. The 2006 study found the following prevalences for obesity:


By as early as age 3, Latino children in the US are more likely to be obese than Black or White children.