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America's weight problem by the numbers


Sixty percent of adults in America are overweight, but when gender, race, income level, and age are taken into account that figure climbs even higher, according to a report [.pdf] released today from the National Center for Health Statistics. The report found:

  • Men (67.9%) were considerably more likely than women (53.0%) to be overweight, although men (25.7%) and women (25.0%) were about equally likely to be obese.
  • Among minority groups, American Indian or Alaska Native adults (70.0%) and black adults (69.2%) were about twice as likely as Asian adults (36.9%) to be overweight.
  • Men with family incomes four times the poverty level or more (70.2%) were more likely than men with incomes below the poverty level (60.4%) to be overweight.
  • Women with the highest family incomes (46.0%) were less likely than women with family incomes that were below the poverty level (60.6%) to be overweight
  • Overweight was most prevalent among adults 45-64 years (68.2%) and 65-74 years of age (67.0%) and markedly lower for adults 75 years and over (53.3%)

Data for the report was collected from the 2005-2007 National Health Interview Survey, which is conducted annually. The report describes the prevalence of selected health behaviors among U.S. adults aged 18 years of age and over.

Photo by Mike Licht,

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