Overweight and obesity are found worldwide, and the prevalence of these conditions in the United States ranks high along with other developed nations. Below are some data based on National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 to 2004.
Adults age 20 and older who are overweight or obese (BMI > 25)
All adults: 133.6 million (66 percent) – ABOUT 2/3rd of U.S. Adults!
Women: 65 million (61.6 percent)
Men: 68.3 million (70.5 percent)
Adults age 20 and older who are obese (BMI > 30)?
All adults: 63.6 million (31.4 percent) – Nearly 1/3rd of U.S. Adults!
Women: 35 million (33.2 percent)
Men: 28.6 million (29.5 percent)
Prevalence of overweight or obesity in minorities
Among women, the age-adjusted prevalence of overweight or obesity (BMI > 25) in racial and ethnic minorities is higher among non-Hispanic Black and Mexican-American women than among non-Hispanic White women.Â Among men, there is little difference in prevalence among these three groups. Sufficient data for other racial and ethnic minorities has not yet been collected.
Non-Hispanic Black Women: 79.6 percent
Mexican-American Women: 73 percent
Non-Hispanic White Women: 57.6 percent
Non-Hispanic Black Men: 67 percent
Mexican-American Men: 74.6 percent
Non-Hispanic White Men: 71 percent
(Statistics are for populations age 20 and older.)
Studies using this definition of overweight and obesity provide ethnicity-specific data only for these three racial and ethnic groups.
Prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents
While there is no generally accepted definition for obesity as distinct from overweight in children and adolescents, the prevalence of overweight* is increasing for children and adolescents in the United States. Approximately 17.5 percent of children (age 6 to 11) and 17 percent of adolescents (age 12 to 19) were overweight in 2001 to 2004.
Source:National Center for Health Statistics. Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Health, United States, 2006. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service. 2006.