How common is obesity?
Most health professionals say that obesity is an epidemic. In the United States, 30% of the population are obese, and 65% are overweight or obese. Obesity in the adult population has doubled since 1980. 1
Certain groups are affected more than others: 2
- Among women, overweight and obesity are more prevalent in racial and ethnic minorities than in non-Hispanic white women.
- Among men, overweight and obesity are more prevalent in Mexican Americans than in non-Hispanic whites or blacks.
- More non-Hispanic black women are overweight or obese than non-Hispanic black men.
- More non-Hispanic white men are overweight or obese than non-Hispanic white women.
- Women of lower socioeconomic status are approximately 50% more likely to be obese than those of higher socioeconomic status.
- Flegal MK, et al. (2002). Prevalence and trends in obesity among U.S. adults, 1999–2000. JAMA, 288(14): 1723–1727.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2001). The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity . Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available online: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity.
Last Revised: April 13, 2011
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.