Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Obesity: Causes and Consequences
Shirley S. Wang & Kelly D. Brownell
The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically in the past three decades and is a serious concern in the United States. According to the National Center for Health Statistics in 1999, 61% of American adults were classified as overweight or obese. The prevalence is even higher among African Americans and Hispanics; nearly two thirds of African Americans are overweight or obese. In addition, the number of overweight children has increased dramatically. Between 1963 and 1980, childhood obesity increased by 98% among 6- to 11-year-olds. Prevalence in children is estimated to be 14% to 22% (Strauss, 2002). Excessive weight is associated with a number of health problems and ultimately mortality. Being overweight also brings with it a number of psychological and social consequences. When the energy a person consumes exceeds energy expenditure, weight gain results. One is considered to be obese when the body contains an excess of body fat (normally ...