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10.1: Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity

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    Overweight and Obesity in the United States

    According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES):

    • About 1 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight.
    • More than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity.
    • More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to have obesity.
    • About 1 in 13 adults were considered to have extreme obesity.
    • About 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 were considered to have obesity.

    You Tube Video: The Obesity Epidemic (

    Worldwide Obesity Statistics from the World Health Organization

    • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
    • In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
    • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
    • Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
    • 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2016.
    • Obesity is preventable.

    Causes and Health Consequences of Overweight and Obesity

    Factors that may contribute to weight gain among adults and youth include genes, eating habits, physical inactivity, TV, computer, phone, and other screen time, sleep habits, medical conditions or medications, and where and how people live, including their access to healthy foods and safe places to be active.

    Overweight and obesity are risk factors for many health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems, and gallstones, among other conditions.
    For more information on the causes and health consequences of overweight and obesity, please visit NIDDK’s webpages on Understanding Adult Overweight and Obesity.

    Contributors and Attributions

    Public domain content

    This page titled 10.1: Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Kelly Falcone via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.