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Overweight and Obesity Trends Among Adults

U.S. map depicting obesity trends.

U.S. Obesity Trends 1985–2007 
The prevalence of obesity is explained in a slide presentation format. You may view the slides online or download them as a Microsoft PowerPoint Document (PPT).

CDC Study Finds No Increase in Obesity Among Adults; But Levels Still High, 2005–2006
After a quarter century of increases, obesity prevalence has not measurably increased in the past few years but levels are still high — at 34 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and over.

NHANES Data on the Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2003–2004
Since the mid-seventies, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased sharply for both adults and children. Data from two NHANES surveys show that among adults aged 20–74 years the prevalence of obesity increased from 15.0% (in the 1976–1980 survey) to 32.9% (in the 2003–2004 survey).

Overweight Trends Among Children and Adolescents

High Body Mass Index for Age Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2003–2006*
This Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) article reports the prevalence of high body mass index (BMI) for age among children and adolescents showed no significant changes between 2003–2004 and 2005–2006 and no significant trends between 1999 and 2006. Rates of overweight and obesity remain high with 31.9% of children and adolescents aged 2 through 19 years at or above the 85th percentile of the 2000 BMI-for-age growth charts.

Prevalence of Overweight Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 2003–2004
Overweight is a serious health concern for children and adolescents. Data from two NHANES surveys (1976–1980 and 2003–2004) show that the prevalence of overweight is increasing: for children aged 2–5 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 13.9%; for those aged 6–11 years, prevalence increased from 6.5% to 18.8%; and for those aged 12–19 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 17.4%.

Related Resources

CDC's Cancer Atlas
If you're interested in worldwide obesity statistics, CDC's Cancer Atlas tracks some data in their Risk Factors section.

National Diabetes Surveillance System

BRFSS, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

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Page last reviewed: June 27, 2008
Page last updated: July 18, 2008
Content Source: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion