Here’s a look at obesity in the United States. A person is considered to be obese when he or she reaches a particular body mass index (BMI).
Adults with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while adults with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese.
Obesity can increase the risk of several types of medical issues including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and other diseases.
The annual medical costs for obesity in the United States is $147 billion annually (in 2008 dollars), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The groups with the highest rate of obesity are non-Hispanic blacks (49.6%), Hispanics (44.8%), and non-Hispanic whites (42.2%).
In 2018, no state had an obesity rate below 20%. In Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and West Virginia, 35% or more of the population is obese.
2005-2011 - The USDA introduces the dietary system: MyPyramid Food Guidance System. A more simplified version of the 1992 Food Guide Pyramid, it recommends portion control and physical exercise as part of a healthy life style to combat obesity.
June 2, 2011 - MyPlate replaces USDA food pyramid as the national effort to combat obesity continues. The dietary guidelines are displayed as portions of food on a plate instead of a three-dimensional pyramid.
December 2011 - The Fifth Circuit Court rules that “severe obesity qualifies as a disability” under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
June 26, 2012 - US Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of private-sector experts, recommends all adults be screened for obesity.
November 2015 - The results of the 2013-2014 CDC survey reveal no significant change in the obesity level, which remains above 36% for adults in the United States. However, results confirm that “The prevalence of obesity was higher in women (38.3%) than in men (34.3%).”
February 4, 2019 - According to an analysis released by the American Cancer Association and published in The Lancet Public Health, cancers fueled by obesity are on the rise among young adults in the US and appearing at increasingly younger ages.
June 18, 2019 - A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association finds that obesity rates among low-income preschoolers have declined. The study finds that the prevalence of obesity among 2- to 4-year-olds enrolled in the nation’s Women, Infants and Children nutrition program fell from 15.9% in 2010 to 13.9% in 2016.
December 18, 2019 - A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine predicts that over half of the US population will be obese within 10 years if the nation does not collectively adopt healthier eating habits. The study also found that one in four Americans will be “severely obese” with a body mass index over 35, which means they will be more than 100 pounds overweight.