Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and healthcare costs in the United States. One third of American adults, adolescents and children are obese. At its current pace, obesity is estimated to affect almost half of the world’s adult population by 2030. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention, About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese. Today about 1 in 3 children and teens are overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity in children more than tripled from 1971 to 2011. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.
Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. The rise in weight and obesity related problems has not only cost billions of people their health but also carries significant costs to the economy. Currently, estimates for these costs range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2015–2016
Data table for Figure 1. Prevalence of obesity among adults aged 20 and over, by sex and age: United States, 2015–2016
Among both men and women, the prevalence of obesity followed a similar pattern by age. Men aged 40–59 (40.8%) had a higher prevalence of obesity than men aged 20–39 (34.8%). Women aged 40–59 (44.7%) had a higher prevalence of obesity than women aged 20–39 (36.5%). For both men and women, the prevalence of obesity among those aged 60 and over was not significantly different from the prevalence among those aged 20–39 or 40–59.
There was no significant difference in the prevalence of obesity between men and women overallor by age group.
Obesity among youth aged 2–19 years in 2015–2016
Figure 3. Prevalence of obesity among youth aged 2–19 years, by sex and age: United States, 2015–2016
The prevalence of obesity among U.S. youth was 18.5% in 2015–2016. Overall, the prevalence of obesity among adolescents (12–19 years) (20.6%) and school-aged children (6–11 years) (18.4%) was higher than among preschool-aged children (2–5 years) (13.9%). School-aged boys (20.4%) had a higher prevalence of obesity than preschool-aged boys (14.3%). Adolescent girls (20.9%) had a higher prevalence of obesity than preschool-aged girls (13.5%) (Figure 3).