Over Two-Thirds of Americans Overweight or Obese
America's weight problem keeps getting worse. A research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine reports that more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis analyzed the most recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2007-12). The findings were compared to a similar study performed about 20 years ago that used data from 1988 to 1994. This analysis defined overweight as a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9. Obese was defined in three classes: BMIs of 30.0-34.9 were defined as class 1, BMIs of 35.0-39.9 were class 2 and BMIs of 40 and above were class 3.
The data was pulled from 15,208 men and women over the age of 24 and represented 188 million adults. Based on this sample size, the results indicated around 36.3 million men (39.96 percent) and 28.9 million women (29.74 percent) were overweight, and roughly 31.8 million men (35.04 percent) and 35.9 million women (36.84 percent) obese.
The increase in obesity could be due to a number of factors, but researchers hypothesize some of these include sleep pattern changes, sedentary lifestyles, and easy access to food.