The History Of Obesity Timeline

Obesity is a fascinating and destructive thing. It’s fascinating in that it’s uniquely human or human caused. It doesn’t exist in nature because the slow or fat are killed (if they’re prey) or die of hunger (if they’re unfit predators).

Obesity is cascadingly destructive as this timeline will show. It’s a modern phenomenon with only a few pockets showing up during the Renaissance. The costs to health, environmental devastation, and money are staggering.

Origin of Obesity: Obesity is from the Latin obesitas, which means “stout, fat, or plump.” ?sus is the past participle of edere (to eat), with ob (over) added to it. The Oxford English Dictionary documents its first usage in 1611 by Randle Cotgrave.

~33,000 B.C.: The first sculptural representations of the human body 20,000–35,000 years ago depict obese females.

~450 B.C.: The Greeks were the first to recognize obesity as a medical disorder. Hippocrates wrote that “Corpulence is not only a disease itself, but the harbinger of others”.

~600 B.C.: Many cultures throughout history have viewed obesity as the result of a character flaw. The obesus or fat character in Greek comedy was a glutton and figure of mockery. wikipedia – Obesity

~550 B.C.: The Indian surgeon Sushruta (6th century BCE) related obesity to diabetes and heart disorders. wikipedia – Obesity

200 A.D.: During Christian times food was viewed as a gateway to the sins of sloth and lust. wikipedia – Obesity

1300 A.D. to 1700 A.D.:  During the Renaissance some of the upper class began flaunting their large size, as can be seen in portraits of Henry the VIII and Alessandro del Borro. Rubens (1577–1640) regularly depicted full-bodied women in his pictures, from which derives the term Rubenesque. wikipedia – Obesity

1909 A.D.: Average American ate 4 pounds of cheese. By 2000 cheese consumption soared 8 fold to 32 pounds of cheese per year! – Obesity_in_the_United_States

1962 A.D.: – U.S. has 13% obesity rate. – Obesity_in_the_United_States – 45% of adult Americans were overweight Wikipedia on Epidemiology of Obesity

1971 A.D.: Average woman ate 1542 calories per day. By 2004 the average woman consumed more than 1871 calories per day a 335 calorie per day jump. Most of this 21.7% calorie consumption increase were empty carbohydrates and sodas. wikipedia – Obesity

1995 A.D.: United States consumption of fast-food meals tripled and food energy intake from these meals quadrupled since 1977. wikipedia – Obesity

1997 A.D.: U.S. obesity rate has climbed to 19.4% – Obesity_in_the_United_States

2002 A.D.: Obesity rates have doubled since 1980, reaching the current rate of 33% of the adult population Wikipedia on Epidemiology of Obesity

2004 A.D.: U.S. obesity rate reaching critical levels at 24.5% – Obesity_in_the_United_States

2005 A.D.: WHO estimates that at least 400 million adults (9.8%) are obese Wikipedia on Epidemiology of Obesity Women obese at higher rates than men. Wikipedia on Epidemiology of Obesity

2007 A.D.: U.S. obesity rates continue their march higher to 26.6% – Obesity_in_the_United_States – Obesity rates are as high as 50% among African American women. Wikipedia on Epidemiology of Obesity

2008 A.D.: – U.S obesity looks unstoppable ascending to 33.8% – Obesity_in_the_United_States – The World Health Organization claimed that 1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight and of these over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese. Wikipedia on Epidemiology of Obesity

May 2009 A.D.:  The case for reducing consumption of all types of sugar…especially fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup: Research links sugar consumption to the rising obesity trend.  Dr. Robert Lustig, esteemed medical doctor, pediatric hormone disorders specialist, and childhood obesity expert speaks out about sugar. On May 26, 2009 he lecturs on the Evils of Sugar. July 2010 this lengthy 90 minute lecture posted to YouTube has over 3,100,000 views.  Dr. Robert Lustig crusades against sugar  SFGate, 2013.

Dr. Gary Taubes [author of Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It] talks about Sugar Toxicity and Dr Robert Lustig’s position: New York Times.

Dr David Katz M.D. counters in the Huffington Post…  “Sugar Isn’t Evil: A Rebuttal”

2010 A.D.: U.S. obesity rates reaching catastrophic levels at 35.7% – Obesity_in_the_United_States

Financial Cost of Obesity – According to a 2010 study, direct obesity related medical expenses in America are $160 billion per year. The estimated indirect costs? $450 billion. Infographic

– Obesity costs the average man an extra $2,646 per year and the average woman an extra $4,879 on average Infographic

– Obese people are paid close to $3.50 less than their healthier counterparts. Infographic

– Obese women are paid 11% less than their healthy counterparts Infographic

2012 A.D.: Of all countries, the United States has the highest rate of obesity. – Obesity_in_the_United_States

U.S.:74.1% of people are overweight and 30% of those are obese. Infographic

Is obesity worse in U.S. women than men?: In the U.S., 27.5% of males are obese, while 33.4% of females are obese. Infographic

Obesity Leads to Heart Attacks

70% of diagnosed heart disease cases are linked directly to obesity, according to the American Heart Association: Source

Obesity Leads to Diabetes Type 2 Diabetes Nationwide, more than half of adults with the disease are obese, and 30 percent or more are overweight. Diabetes and the obesity paradox

Study:  Facebook Could Cause Obesity


2030 A.D.: (projected numbers)

Almost half of Americans (41%) are expected to be obese by 2030 Infographic

86% of Americans are expected to be overweight by 2030 the economic costs of obesity/


Are we missing anything? Do any of these entries NOT belong? Feel free to make some suggestions below! And hit the Facebook Like button if coming to this page made it worth coming to today. Bookmark us now and follow the Timeline’s up coming changes by hitting the “Subscribe to” button below in the comment section!


About this Timeline’s Curators:
Clint Evans of Hip Chick Fitness, a women’s weight loss community, and his business partner Houston area Fitness expert E. Calvin Barber II, have studied weight trends and health for over 15 years. They’ve seen the dire costs of obesity first hand. The devastation weight gain wreaks on families and lives is too much to bear. They’re focus is to help women lose weight using healthy natural foods in an eating plan they can sustain long-term. This way the fat melts and it stays away.

Are we missing anything? Do any of these entries NOT belong? Feel free to make some suggestions below! And hit the Facebook Like button if coming to this page made it worth coming to today. Bookmark us now and follow the Timeline’s up coming changes by hitting the “Subscribe to” button below in the comment section!



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