• Obesity Demographics

    Sixty-seven percent of American adults are overweight (BMI of 25 or higher). Thirty percent are obese. Five percent of American adults are morbidly obese—a 400 percent increase since 1986.

    Obesity rates vary considerably by state, as evidenced by the chart, below, provied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):


    Percentage of Obese U.S. Adults per State (2010)

    Obesity Rates by State in U.S. Adults 

    Obesity rates have increased in every demographic category in the last 20 years. Obesity among Hispanics has increased 80 percent, among college-educated adults 76.5 percent and among 18- to 29-year-olds almost 70 percent. There are more obese American women than obese men. For instance, 33 percent of women over the age of 20 are obese; 27.5 percent of men are the same.

    More than 400,000 deaths each year in the United States are attributed to obesity. Only one in seven obese individuals reaches the average life expectancy of 76 years.

    Obesity is affecting the young at a higher rate than ever before. Since 1980, overweight rates doubled among children and tripled among adolescents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is now affecting children in ways it was once believed to only affect adults. For example, 61 percent of overweight 5- to 10-year-olds already have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and 26 percent have two or more risk factors.

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