Two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese increases risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and some cancers.
More than one-third of adults, or about 78 million people, are obese. About one of five youths ages 2–19 years old are obese as well. About half of all adults — 117 million people — have one or more chronic health conditions. Heart disease is the most common chronic disease, followed by diabetes. Diabetes can start in childhood, but diabetes is greatest in people over age 65, affecting 29 percent (11.8 million) of seniors.
Losing weight can reduce risk of chronic disease. About one-third of the U.S. population tries to lose weight using popular diet programs, but most don’t work over the long term. Weight loss plans often fail because dieters focus on counting calories rather than getting all the essential nutrients their bodies need. A healthy weight-loss diet contains all essential nutrients our bodies need daily and excludes foods that contain ingredients we don’t need, such as salt, sugar and bad fats. Nutrient-dense foods promote satiety, which can lead to steady and sustainable weight loss.