Where you live plays a role in your risk for obesity. Simply living in the United States makes a person more susceptible to obesity. The prevalence of obesity in America has risen dramatically over the past few years and continues to increase.
- According to the latest figures available, around one in three American adults (aged 20 and older) are obese (BMI over 30) -- up significantly from the early 1990s.
- The number of Americans aged 20 - 74 who were overweight or obese also increased from below 50% in 1960 to 68.0% in 2008.
Fat tends to settle in certain regions, depending on gender. Women gain fat predominantly in the stomach, hips, and thighs, while men tend to gain fat in the belly and waist.
Risk by Age. People of any age are at risk for obesity. More children and adolescents are overweight in America than ever before. Gaining some weight is common with age, and adding about 10 pounds to a normal base weight over time is not harmful. The typical weight gain in American adults over 50, however, is worrisome. By age 55, the average American has added nearly 40 pounds of fat during the course of adulthood. This condition is made worse by the fact that muscle and bone mass decrease with age.
Review Date: 04/14/2010
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital (4/14/2010).