10 Statistics You Need To Know About Obesity


Most of us are well aware of the negative health consequences that result from obesity.

Yet many people, even those who are dealing with the condition, remain unaware of the facts and statistics that could actually help you (and many others) fight obesity. Not to mention educate those well-meaning family, friends, colleagues and healthcare providers!

And it’s no surprise because after all obesity is widely stigmatized as a condition that is controllable and even sometimes construed as a person’s choice!

You may have even been on the receiving end of these false ideas that are not only totally misinformed, but life-threatening or, at best, life-shortening.

We believe there is far too much attention on the obesity crisis and personal blame, and nowhere near enough on the facts, realities, and solutions.

So together let’s start to lift the curtain today by sharing ten statistics we believe you should know about morbid obesity. Let’s create some much-needed momentum toward more people being better informed and allowed to make decisions with all the facts to hand.

And if you’re ever faced with someone trying to tell you that you can beat this by exercising more and eating less, perhaps you could gently point them in the direction of this post!

The Countdown: 10 Statistics You Need To Know About Obesity


10. Obesity Accounts for 20% of All Cancer Deaths

Obesity is associated with a 2-3 fold increase increased risk for colon, breast, endometrial, and esophagus cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute there are 35,000-50,000 new cases of cancer each year due to obesity.

9. Obesity Is Now the Second Leading Cause of Preventable Death in the US

Behind smoking, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death accounting for over 300,000 lives lost each year. Clinically severe obesity has quadrupled in incidence in the last 75 years and now affects more than 15 million people in the US alone. It has become the single greatest health crisis of our time.

8. Bariatric Surgery Will Save You Money

Within two years of surgery patients will save thousands of dollars in office copays, medication costs, even food, and the savings increase from there.

7. Obesity Causes Damage to Nearly Every Body System

This includes health challenges including (but not limited to): Type II Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Stress Incontinence, Osteoarthritis, and Renal Insufficiency. Much of this damage can be stopped or even reversed with surgical weight loss surgery.

6. Weight Loss Surgery Is Safer Than You Think

Weight loss surgery is as safe as gallbladder surgery, knee replacement, and hysterectomy with a 30 day mortality rate of 0.2%. In fact it is 10 times safer than other procedures such as cardiac or colon surgery.

5. Obesity Is Unresponsive to Diet and Exercise

Less than 1% achieve significant and sustained weight loss through diet and exercise. The truth is that multiple behavioral, environmental, genetic, and metabolic factors combined produce a propensity toward becoming overweight.

4. Bariatric Surgery Cures More Diseases Than Any Other Single Intervention

Weight loss surgery produces a 96% resolution or improvement in the medical problems associated with obesity. Patients enjoy complete remission of 5-10 medical problems, often taking no more than a daily vitamin by 12 months after surgery.

3. Surgical Weight Loss Has Been Shown to Affect Sustained Weight Loss in 86% of People

The reality is that for 99% of people, non-surgical therapy (diet, exercise, meditations) simply doesn’t work. Weight loss surgery for morbid obesity, when combined with behavior and lifestyle modification, is currently the most reliable and only choice for long-term maintenance of excess weight loss.

2. Weight Loss Surgery is Not the Easy Way Out, It’s the ONLY Way Out

Bariatric surgery certainly is not a venture for the faint of heart or those who are looking for a short cut to success. Those who suffer morbid obesity know that its effects are much deeper than a list of medical problems. However, as the weight comes off, this cycle is broken and hope and sustained change is once again possible.

1. Surgical Weight Loss Can Extend a Person's Lifespan by 8-15 Years

Weight loss surgery means you not only get to reach a place of ideal health, but add nearly a decade and a half to your life! One large study in 2007 looked at 14,000 subjects and found that at seven years, those who had undergone surgery enjoyed a 56% decreased mortality from heart disease, 92% decrease in mortality from diabetes and had 60% less cancer deaths. Bariatric surgery becomes a truly life-altering event for most of our patients.


Fighting obesity with facts is powerful. But what’s even more impactful is taking that first, sometimes scary and uncertain, step of action in the direction of positive change.

Because this is just ten of many more facts and statistics that you might not know about obesity. There are many more.

It’s a condition we can deal with together, one step, and one informed person at a time.


Are you ready to be one of those people? You’ve already taken the first step by reading this article so please pat yourself on the back!

You don’t have to do this alone.

Take the next step and learn even more about your options by either visiting our website or better yet, give us a call today at 740-475-0442, and speak to our friendly Bariatric Coordinator Angela.


Dr. Custer