Fact List Health

40 Interesting Facts About Obesity

Here are 40 interesting Obesity facts.

1-5 Obesity Facts

weight loss

1. Dubai has a weight-loss contest called ‘Your Child in Gold’ where individual participants win one gram of gold for every one kilogram (~2.2lbs) lost, and double reward for families. The contest is aimed at combating early obesity and raise awareness about the disease. – Source

2. Both ancient Greek and Egyptian medicine recognized obesity as a medical disorder. Hippocrates wrote that “corpulence is not only a disease itself but the harbinger of others”. – Source

3. Today, more people worldwide suffer from obesity (1.9 billion) than hunger (780 million). – Source

4. Obesity has created a market for over-sized caskets. Families may be forced to buy two plots to accommodate them. – Source

5. The idea of “slow metabolism” causing obesity is a myth and it is “innate laziness” or lower levels of Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) that causes weight gain. – Source

6-10 Obesity Facts


6. There is something called sleep debt and if you do not reduce the debt you can experience worsened vision, impaired driving, and trouble remembering. Long-term effects include obesity, insulin resistance, and heart disease. – Source

7. A 32-year long study found that obesity spread through social connections and that a person’s chances of becoming obese increased by 57% if he or she had a friend who became obese. – Source

8. America is not actually the most obese country in the world; it actually ranks 18th in obesity prevalence. – Source

9. A Belgian beer club proposed to substitute beer instead of soft drinks on school menus to prevent childhood obesity. – Source

10. Miraculin, a protein found in the West African “Miracle fruit” and unique sweetener that could help people with diabetes and obesity was mysteriously shot down by the FDA in the 1970’s. – Source

11-15 Obesity Facts

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

11. In the 1960’s, methamphetamine was available as an OTC drug called “Obetrol” used to fight obesity. It was Andy Warhol’s favorite recreational drug. – Source

12. The American Thyroid Association is adamant that only 5-20lb weight gain can be attributed to hypothyroidism and “hypothyroidism doesn’t cause obesity”. – Source

13. The US drank 48 gallons of coffee per person in 1948, but today only drinks 23. Partly due to soft drink companies marketing sugary sodas as healthy, and coffee as a poison that caused heart disease and birth defects in the 1970s. Soda is now a leading cause of diabetes and obesity. – Source

14. In an MIT study to understand the effects of yogurt on obesity, male mice fed yogurt had significantly larger testicles than non-yogurt fed mice. Subsequent mating tests showed the yogurt-fed subjects inseminated their partners faster and produced larger litters. – Source

15. Most turkeys that receive a presidential pardon die within a year due to health problems associated with obesity. – Source


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  • #1 The source say they visit a nutritionist and a doctor to determine their eligibility prior to registration, but doesn’t say if they have follow ups.

    My main concern, especially when it pays double for families (including kids), is that people will be on unhealthy diets, starving themselves, and introducing more health concerns that what obesity causes.

    Paying people to do things like this to their body can easily turn into nasty things, especially when the poor can be the most directly affected by obesity when they have limited access to healthy food alternatives. And a desperation for money only accelerates that.

  • #10 It wasn’t mysterious. Miraculin is a great sweetener, and has very little adverse side effects, except when subject to heat. Most, nearly all, food (or mainly, in this case, drink) products that use alternative sweeteners go through some sort of heat process, if just for pasteurization. Heat doesn’t change the food chemistry, but it changes the way we taste sour foods, especially high acidity foods, which will taste sweet, which can trick people into consuming more.

    Your source was from “howstuffworks”. Any source that calls anything a “miracle food” is subject to further scrutinization. Since there’s no such thing as a “‘miracle food”.

  • Permanently ban advertisements on food and you could find a dramatic drop in obesity. Why do you need to know food is out there. I don’t need a constant reminder that food there to be eaten. If I had a eating disorder and/or prone to compulsive behaviors, maybe someone just can’t stop from buying because they see someone enjoying it, I would find myself 200lbs heavier than I am now because of all the food marketed. Have you ever experienced food envy (wishing for someone else’s plate of food at a restaurant), similar to that.


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