37.9% of men and 41.1% of women are considered to be obese in the United States. This is twice as many as three decades ago. Approximately 15% of children and teens are overweight, three times as many as there were in the 1980s.
13% of adults in the world are obese. 39% of adults in the world are overweight. One-in-five children and adolescents, globally, are overweight.
Resources. The U.S. adult obesity rate stands at 42.4 percent, the first time the national rate has passed the 40 percent mark, and further evidence of the country's obesity crisis. The national adult obesity rate has increased by 26 percent since 2008.
Obesity is a common, serious, and costly disease
The US obesity prevalence was 42.4% in 2017 – 2018. From 1999 –2000 through 2017 –2018, US obesity prevalence increased from 30.5% to 42.4%. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.
The United States ranks 12th in the world for obesity. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 36.9% of American adults age 20 and older were obese based on 2015-2016 data. 37.9% of men and 41.1% of women are considered to be obese in the United States.
With the latest data from the NHANES showing that 39.6 percent of adults and 18.5 percent of children ages 2 to 19 in America have obesity, the State of Obesity report noted that “these are the highest rates ever documented by NHANES.”
Overall, about 13% of the world's adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese in 2016. The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016.
According to the World Health Organisation (2016), there are around 2 billion adults overweight, of those 650 million are considered to be affected by obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m²). That equates to 39% (39% of men and 40% of women) of adults aged 18 or over who were overweight, with 13% obese.
The United States is the world's 10th most obese country and the most obese country in North America with 36.2% of its population having a body mass index of over 30.0.
The World Obesity Atlas 2022, published by the World Obesity Federation, predicts that one billion people globally, including 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men, will be living with obesity by 2030.
Worldwide prevalence of obesity
In fact, in 2020, more than 2 billion adults (39% of the adult global population) were overweight (BMI > 25). Of these, over 600 million were obese (BMI > 30).
The simple explanation for the global rise in obesity is that people are eating more high-calorie, high-fat foods and are less physically active. Highly processed foods — with added sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients — are often cheaper, easier to ship, and have a longer shelf life than fresh foods.
The main drivers of the global obesity epidemic are well known: excessive fat and sugar intake, lack of sleep, too much screen time, insufficient physical activity. We need global measures across all age groups to address these elements and we need them now.
Here are some highlights: McAllen, Texas, has the highest share of obese adults, 44.90%, which is 2.4 times higher than in Asheville, North Carolina, the metro area with the lowest at 18.50%.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), made up of 35 major economies, the US is the most obese country, where 38.2% of the population over the age of 15 is obese. Mexico is second with 32.4% of the population and New Zealand is third with 30.7%.
Research published by the World Health Organization found that a rise in fast food sales correlated to a rise in body mass index, and Americans are notorious for their fast-food consumption ― such food makes up about 11% of the average American diet.
Adult obesity rates are highest in the United States, Mexico, New Zealand and Hungary, while they are lowest in Japan and Korea.
when comparing the proportion of obese men and women across OECD countries, Australia had the 2nd highest proportion of obese men (32%), behind the United States (38%). The proportion of obese women in Australia was 8th highest out of 23 countries (29%) — higher than the OECD average of 25% for women.
The UK is the most overweight nation in Western Europe, with levels of obesity growing faster than in the US, a new report has warned.