From Our 2010 Archives
Percentage of Overweight, Obese Americans Swells
Americans Are Eating Poorly, Exercising Less, and Getting Bigger, Survey Finds
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
Feb. 10, 2010 -- More Americans are becoming overweight or obese, exercising less, and eating unhealthy foods.
That's the finding of the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which shows that 63.1% of adults in the U.S. were either overweight or obese in 2009.
That was a small but measurable increase from 62.2% the previous year. The survey finds that 36.6% of Americans are overweight and 26.5% obese.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index findings are based on telephone interviews with 673,000 adults in January 2008 to December 2009. About 90,000 surveys were done each quarter, and the margin of error for the quarterly results is +/- 0.3 percentage points.
The survey finds that:
Here's a breakdown of groups that ate the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables three to seven days per week:
Body mass index (BMI) is a common measure of body fat based on height and weight.
(Calculate your body mass index at www.webmd.com/diet/calc-bmi-plus.)
A BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese, overweight if it's between 25-29.9, normal if it's 18.5-24.9, and underweight if it's less than 18.5.
The survey found that:
The survey says that African-Americans in 2009 were among the most likely to be obese, at 36.2%, compared to the national average of 26.5%. The obesity rate among Hispanics, at 28.3%, is also higher than the national average. Asians are far less likely to be obese, with only 9.6% falling into that category.
The survey also reports that:
The report concludes that obesity is still on the rise and that reversing this trend may require the involvement of communities, businesses, and governments.
SOURCES: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.