More Than Two-Thirds of Americans Are Overweight or Obese

There are new, alarming statistics out this week published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine reporting that the adult U.S. population is now two-thirds obese. That means there are more people who are obese now than those who are overweight – 67.6 million vs. 65.2 million. That means fewer than one-third of American adults are at a normal or healthy weight – 25 percent men and 33 percent women to be exact.

What’s most alarming about this report is that this shift was predicted years ago if nothing changed and low and behold the estimate became reality in front of our very eyes in just a few short years. The scales tipped, so to speak, toward more adults aged 25 years old or older as of 2012, who are considered obese than those who are overweight in our country.

What’s Overweight and What’s Obese?

Having a body mass index (or BMI) that is between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. And, a BMI over 30 is considered obese.

BMI is calculated by dividing your height and weight. You can find out here, if you want to calculate it and see if you are considered in the normal range of 18.5 and 24.9.

The data was collected from 2007 to 2012 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This ongoing CDC study included information about height and weight, which are used to calculate BMI.

It's Time to Change the Obesity Trend

I agree with one of the co-authors from Washington University’s Prevention Research Center, this is a wake up call and policies need to be implemented to combat obesity.

This sad news also means the health in our country is continuing to crumble and diseases associated with obesity are going to plague people for years to come. Once ‘old age’ disease are continuing to strike people earlier and earlier, often in the prime of their lives. This will come at a cost, a steep cost, to public health and premature death.

Preventative programs do and will help reduce obesity in this country. It will also help those who are overweight and are at risk for becoming obese. We need realistic solutions, and commonsense approaches to this otherwise all the effort in the world will not help with this epidemic.

I know first-hand the complexity of obesity with my own father being obese for most of his life and eventually dying as a result of his obesity.

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