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Overweight and Obesity Trends
Overweight and Obesity Trends


The prevalence of obesity (BMI≥30) continues to be a health concern for adults, children and adolescents in the United States. Data from the most recent NHANES survey1 shows that among adult men the prevalence of obesity was 31.1% in 2003—2004, and 33.3% in 2005—2006, a small but not statistically significant change. Among adult women, the prevalence of obesity in 2003—2004 was 33.2%, and in 2005—2006 was 35.3%, again a small but not significant change.

Another recent NHANES survey2 found that obesity prevalence among children and adolescents showed no significant changes between 2003—2004 and 2005—2006. Based on the study, in the combined years of 2003—2006, 16.3% of children and adolescents aged 2–19 years were obese, at or above the 95th percentile of the 2000 BMI-for-age growth charts.

This rate of obesity raises concern because of its implications for the health of Americans. Obesity increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions. These include–

Two of the Healthy People 2010 national health objectives3 are (1) to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults to less than 15% and (2) to reduce the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents to less than 5%. This site provides a variety of information designed to help people understand the severity of obesity, the efforts being made to address it, and how to maintain a healthy weight.

Selected Resources

Healthy Weight – It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle
Whether you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to understand the connection between the energy your body takes in (through the foods you eat and the beverages you drink) and the energy your body uses (through the activities you do).

At A Glance 2009 — Obesity, Halting the Epidemic by Making Health Easier

Weight Management Research to Practice Series
The Weight Management Research to Practice Series is a series designed to summarize the science on weight management topics for health professionals. An overview of the science will be compiled into a summary document appropriate for public health professionals, including implications for practice. In addition, each installment in the series will be accompanied by a tool geared toward a lay audience, which can be used by health professionals in practice.


1Ogden CL, Carroll MD, McDowell MA, Flegal KM. Obesity among adults in the United States – no change since 2003—2004. NCHS data brief no 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2007.

2Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Flegal KM. High Body Mass Index for Age Among US Children and Adolescents, 2003—2006. JAMA. 2008;299(20):2401—2405.

3U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010. 2nd ed. With Understanding and Improving Health and Objectives for Improving Health. 2 vols. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, November 2000.

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* Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

Page last reviewed: January 7, 2009
Page last updated: January 7, 2009
Content Source: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion