Over 78 million U.S.adults and 12.5 million U.S. children and adolescents are obese. Obesity is also a risk factor for the development of diabetes and is likely the critical factor in the 25% increase in the prevalence of diabetes over the past 20 years. Of the 24 million people with diabetes in the U.S., two-thirds have a body mass index (BMI) exceeding 27.

The World Health Organization forecasts the prevalence of both obesity and diabetes to double worldwide over the next 20 years, with substantial health and economic impact. These diseases also increase the rate of premature death, including death caused by cardiovascular disease and cancer.