Obesity is 2-3 Times More Prevalent in USA Than Europe

Americans Least Likely to Take Action to Lose Weight

According to Consumer Health Sciences (CHS), the leading provider of consumer healthcare information and publisher of the annual National Health and Wellness Survey, Americans are over two-and-a-half times as likely to be clinically obese than the French, Germans, or British. What is more, Americans in every weight category (except underweight) are significantly less likely to be trying to lose weight than their European counterparts. In fact, most obese and overweight Americans report that they are doing nothing about their condition.

CHS's 2003 survey of over 36,000 adult Americans and 17,000 Europeans not only confirms the magnitude of the obesity epidemic publicized recently by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but also highlights the uniqueness of the American situation and identifies key attitudes that affect behavior. The National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) revealed:

* Thirty-seven percent of Americans (approximately 77 million people) are classified as obese, compared with 12 percent in France, 16 percent in Germany, and 20 percent in Great Britain.  See Bar Chart at:
     http://www.chsinternational.com/ObesityPress2.jpg

* People in all weight categories (save those who are classified as underweight) in France, Germany, and Great Britain are far more inclined than Americans to work at slimming down.  See Bar Chart at:
     http://www.chsinternational.com/ObesityPress1.jpg  Only 40 percent of obese Americans are taking steps to lose weight, compared to 64 percent in France, 68 percent in Great Britain, and 69 percent in Germany.

"Perhaps our European counterparts don't yet -- and won't ever -- experience obesity at the same level as Americans because more individuals in those countries are actively working at weight reduction," offered Jane A. Donohue, Ph.D. and chief executive officer of CHS.

Around half of Americans in the normal, overweight, and obese weight groups who are indeed working to shed pounds are using a weight-loss product. Unfortunately, they are not very satisfied with the results they are achieving through prescription or over-the-counter products. The number of users who expressed neutral to low satisfaction ranged from 39 to 65 percent (depending on the product) for those taking prescription medications, and averaged 61 percent for those relying on over-the-counter products.


"Clearly," expressed Donohue, "the need for effective weight management is largely unmet and presents a tremendous opportunity for the prescription drug industry, which is precisely why there are so many weight loss products in the pipeline. The industry's challenge will be in reaching the 60 percent of obese Americans who are not actively taking steps to lose weight and to meet the expectations of patients whose current remedies have not worked to their satisfaction."

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