Of those, 42% American adults had obesity and 10% were severely obese, while another 30.7% were overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9.
BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in metres, with the overweight range between 25 and 29.9 and obese range from 30 to 39.9.
A new report has also revealed that 19.3% of children and young people, aged between two and 19, had obesity, with 6.1% of kids identified as being severely obesity.
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This all comes from the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which has just been published, and represents an increase of half since 1999-2000.
Cheryl Fryar and colleagues from the National Center for Health Statistics commented: “Although BMI is widely used as a measure of body fat, at a given BMI level, body fat may vary by sex, age, and race and Hispanic origin. In particular, research suggests that health risks may begin at a lower BMI among Asian persons compared with others.”
Each participant in the survey underwent an interview and a physical examination conducted in a mobile examination centre, with height and weight measured as part of a comprehensive set of body measurements.
The results also showed different obesity rates between ethnic groups, with non-Hispanic Asian Americans having the lowest rates of obesity, with only 18% and 17% of Asian men and women having a BMI over 30.
Additionally, Mexican American adults had highest rates – 51% of men and 50% of women having obesity. Results also showed that 41% of non-Hispanic black men had obesity along with 57% of black adult women.
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The age group with the highest rates of obesity was those aged between 40 to 59 where 45% of people had a BMI of 30 or higher, with middle-aged men having the greatest obesity prevalence at 46%.
These high rates of obesity contrast to data from the survey period covering 1960-1962 when just 13.4% of adults were obese and less than 1% were severely obese. Approximately 31.5% of American adults were considered overweight during this period.