Thursday, July 21, 2016

50-Year Trend in Overweight and Obesity

A stunning 70 percent of Americans are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Fifty years ago, only 45 percent were overweight. These figures come from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which deploys mobile examination units around the country to measure the height and weight of a nationally representative sample of the population....

Percent overweight (among adults aged 20 to 74)
2013-14: 70.1%
1960-62: 44.9%

Interestingly, the overweight but not obese share of the population barely changed over the decades, rising from 31.5 to 31.9 percent between 1960-62 and 2013-14. But the obese share skyrocketed, climbing from just 13.4 percent in 1960-62 to fully 38.2 percent in 2013-14. Among men, 35.5 percent were obese in 2013-14—more than three times the 10.7 percent of 1960-62. Among women, obesity climbed from 15.8 to 41.0 percent during those years. 

Note: Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m^2 or higher and obesity is defined as a body mass index of 30kg/m^2 or higher. 
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity among Adults Aged 20 and Over: United States, 1960-1962 through 2013-14

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