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Food addiction   prevalence and statistics 1

Food Addiction - Prevalence and Statistics

300 million people in the world will likely be obese by the year 2025.


You are probably wondering how common food addiction is these days? How is it even measured? The rate of a specific trait or behavior in the global population, expressed in percentages, is called prevalence. Many researchers use questionnaires which are designed to measure the prevalence of certain behavior. Participants then give answers based on self-assessment. In order to examine food addiction, only one tool – the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS), has been developed. It contains statements such as: I eat to the point where I feel physically ill; where you have to estimate the frequency of that behavior in the past 12 months.


''Around 50% of the obese, 30% of overweight and 20% of "healthy weight" are actually addicted to a specific food''


In one research, all the data about the prevalence of food addiction was collected. 19.9% of people were diagnosed with food addiction. This diagnosis was found to be higher in adults who are more than 35 years old, in females, and in overweight/obese participants. To be precise: women in the range of 45 - 64 years of age have an 8.4% prevalence rate, and those between 62 - 88 years, have a 2.7% prevalence rate, according to other studies. Around 50% of the obese, 30% of overweight and 20% of "healthy weight" are actually addicted to a specific food, combinations of different foods or an amount/volume of food in general.


''An estimation has been made that 400,000 adult deaths each year in the United States are associated with obesity''


Obesity and being overweight became one of the major health problems of the world today. Even though the USA is not number 1 in obesity, it is still pretty high on the charts. In 2005, the World Health Organization reported that in the USA, 60.5% of the adult population was overweight, 24% were obese and 3% were extremely obese. They predict that 300 million people in the world will likely be obese by the year 2025. Obesity is becoming a larger problem than malnutrition. That fact in and of itself is a major cause for concern. Why is that so? An estimation has been made that 400,000 adult deaths each year in the United States are associated with obesity. Also, in 2000 total costs from obesity were estimated to be $117 billion, and that includes medical care, days lost from work due to illness, weight related disability, or premature death.


Nonetheless, not everything is so negative. Food addiction and obesity are treatable conditions and nowadays there are many different approaches designed to help people who suffer from it. However, statistics have shown that only 1 in 210 obese men and 1 in 124 obese women recover from obesity and return their normal weight. For severely obese people that number is even smaller: 1 in 1,290 for men and 1 in 677 for women. On top of that, it is not so uncommon for those who recover to regain some weight. That being said, more severe action should be taken in order to decrease the global rate of obesity!