What is the obesity rate in the United States?


Key Takeaways:

  • Obesity rates in the United States continue to rise: According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, the age-adjusted percentage of US adults with obesity has increased from 30.5% in 1999-2000 to 42.4% in 2017-2018.
  • Obesity rates differ by age, sex, and race/ethnicity: NHANES data shows that obesity rates are higher among women than men and vary by age group. In addition, obesity rates are higher among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic adults compared to non-Hispanic white adults.
  • Obesity is associated with numerous health problems: Excess weight gain may contribute to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise may reduce the risk of these health problems.

Defining Overweight and Obesity

Defining Excess Body Weight: Understanding Overweight and Obesity

Excess body weight can be categorized into overweight and obesity. Overweight refers to having excess body weight compared to the standard weight for a given age, sex, and height. Obesity, on the other hand, is a more severe form and entails having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. Obesity is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

One way to determine if someone has excess body weight is by measuring their BMI, which is calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. Additionally, waist circumference measurements can also help determine elevated health risks related to excess body weight. It is important to understand that having excess body weight can have detrimental effects not only on one’s physical health but also on their mental and emotional well-being.

Notably, obesity has been on the rise globally for the past few decades, with the latest statistics from the World Health Organization indicating that over 650 million adults worldwide are obese. In the United States alone, it is estimated that more than one-third of adults have obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is clear that defining overweight and obesity is crucial in the fight against this growing public health concern.

A true fact: The CDC reports that obesity-related health conditions cost the US healthcare system over $147 billion annually.

Causes and Health Consequences of Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity are serious health concerns affecting the United States. The high prevalence of obesity in the country can be attributed to various factors. Apart from genetic and hormonal influences, unhealthy lifestyle habits such as a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and lack of physical activity can cause obesity. This condition can lead to several health consequences such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. While addressing the causes and health consequences of obesity, it is imperative to acknowledge that there are unique challenges associated with different age groups and cultures. Understanding these factors is crucial in addressing the issue of obesity.

Furthermore, the ramifications of obesity are widespread and affect not only the individual but also their families, communities, and even the economy. The healthcare costs associated with obesity are incredibly high, and interventions to address the condition require a multi-faceted approach.

A successful intervention story is that of a community-based program aimed at promoting healthy eating and physical activity. The program was designed to address the socio-cultural and environmental factors that contribute to obesity. The results were impressive, as the participants lost weight and improved their overall health outcomes. The success story shows that community-based interventions can be effective in addressing the causes and health consequences of overweight and obesity.

Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity

The percentage of individuals affected by obesity and overweight is a critical measure of public health. To understand the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, we analyzed the reference data available. We present our findings below.

Year Prevalence of Overweight (%) Prevalence of Obesity (%)
2017-2018 71.6 42.4

According to our analysis, the prevalence of overweight is 71.6%, and obesity is 42.4% in the United States as of 2017-2018. These figures emphasize the need for effective measures to combat obesity and promote healthy lifestyles.

Interestingly, the available data highlights that the prevalence of obesity is much higher than that of overweight. Such details help health professionals to focus their efforts on preventing and treating the most severe cases of obesity.

Act now to prevent obesity and overweight-related health complications. Small lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet, can lead to significant improvements in overall health. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action.

Five Facts About the Obesity Rate in the United States:

  • ✅ More than 2 in 5 adults (42.4%) have obesity in the United States. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ About 1 in 11 adults (9.2%) have severe obesity in the United States. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Among children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 in the United States, almost 1 in 5 (19.3%) have obesity. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ BMI is a tool used to estimate and screen for overweight and obesity in adults and children. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Overweight and obesity increase the risk for many health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. (Source: Team Research)

FAQs about What Is The Obesity Rate In The United States?

What is the obesity rate in the United States?

According to 2017-2018 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than 2 in 5 adults (42.4%) have obesity, and nearly 1 in 3 adults (30.7%) is overweight. For children and adolescents ages 2 to 19, almost 1 in 5 (19.3%) have obesity, and about 1 in 6 (16.1%) are overweight.

What factors contribute to obesity?

Factors that may contribute to excess weight gain among adults and youth include genetics, types and amounts of food and drinks consumed, level of physical activity, degree of time spent on sedentary behaviors, such as watching TV or using a computer or phone, sleep habits, medical conditions or medicines, and where and how people live, including their access to and ability to afford healthy foods and safe places to be active.

What health problems are associated with obesity?

Overweight and obesity increase the risk for many health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, joint problems, liver disease, gallstones, some types of cancer, and sleep and breathing problems, among other conditions.

How is obesity measured in adults?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to estimate and screen for overweight and obesity in adults. BMI is defined as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. A health care professional can determine if a person’s health may be at risk because of his or her weight by using the BMI range. The range for overweight individuals is 25 to 29.9, while obesity is classified as having a BMI of 30 or more.

How is obesity measured in children and teens?

For children and teens, BMI is calculated based on a comparison with other same-age and same-sex children or teens, using CDC’s age- and sex-specific growth charts, and is then classified into different percentile ranges. For example, a child whose weight in relation to his or her height is greater than 95% of other same-aged children is categorized as having obesity.

How does obesity affect different racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.?

According to 2017-2018 NHANES data, non-Hispanic Black adults have the highest prevalence of obesity at nearly 50%, followed by Hispanic adults at 44.8%, non-Hispanic white adults at 42.2%, and non-Hispanic Asian adults at 17.4%. These findings suggest that obesity rates disproportionately affect certain racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.