Society 3 out of 4 Americans are now overweight, including nearly 1 in 2 obese

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It will come as no surprise to anybody that there are more fat people in the US than in any other developed country. It's not a new phenomenon, but it keeps getting worse year after year. 20 years ago I was already shocked that one third of Americans were obese. Now the latest data points to over 45% of obesity as of 2023 and somewhere around 75% of the US population who is overweight!

In fact there doesn't seem to be any official statistics for 2023 yet, but the data can be extrapolated by following the trend from previous years and decades.

The following graph is from the NIH, but it stops at 2017-18. From 2011-12 to 2017-18, adult obesity rates have increased from 34.9% to 42.4%, i.e. 7.5% in six years or +1.25% per year. Following that trend, the data should be approximately 43.65% in 2019-2020, 44.9% in 2021-2022, and 46.15% in 2023-24. So 45% for 2023 seems a reasonable estimate. Severe obesity is probably over 10% now. At this rate, in 2027 half of the US adult population will be obese.
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The same page on the NIH website also shows that child obesity is also increasing fast and now surely exceeds 20% for the average of all ages.

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This is for obesity. But the NIH reports that in addition to obese people (BMI >30), 30.7% of Americans were overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9) in 2017-18. Even if this percentage remained stable until 2023, that would still be 75% of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Unfortunately I couldn't find a chart showing the evolution of overweight rates, but this chart combines both overweight and obese people. In 2018, already over 75% of American men had excess weight. By extrapolation, in 2023 there should be about 80% of men and 70% of women who have a BMI over 25. If the trend continues, in 8 years (2031) 90% of American men will be overweight of obese. That's just crazy.

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It will come as no surprise to anybody that there are more fat people in the US than in any other developed country. It's not a new phenomenon, but it keeps getting worse year after year. 20 years ago I was already shocked that one third of Americans were obese. Now the latest data points to over 45% of obesity as of 2023 and somewhere around 75% of the US population who is overweight!

In fact there doesn't seem to be any official statistics for 2023 yet, but the data can be extrapolated by following the trend from previous years and decades.

The following graph is from the NIH, but it stops at 2017-18. From 2011-12 to 2017-18, adult obesity rates have increased from 34.9% to 42.4%, i.e. 7.5% in six years or +1.25% per year. Following that trend, the data should be approximately 43.65% in 2019-2020, 44.9% in 2021-2022, and 46.15% in 2023-24. So 45% for 2023 seems a reasonable estimate. Severe obesity is probably over 10% now. At this rate, in 2027 half of the US adult population will be obese.
View attachment 14407
The same page on the NIH website also shows that child obesity is also increasing fast and now surely exceeds 20% for the average of all ages.

View attachment 14408


This is for obesity. But the NIH reports that in addition to obese people (BMI >30), 30.7% of Americans were overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9) in 2017-18. Even if this percentage remained stable until 2023, that would still be 75% of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Unfortunately I couldn't find a chart showing the evolution of overweight rates, but this chart combines both overweight and obese people. In 2018, already over 75% of American men had excess weight. By extrapolation, in 2023 there should be about 80% of men and 70% of women who have a BMI over 25. If the trend continues, in 8 years (2031) 90% of American men will be overweight of obese. That's just crazy.

View attachment 14409

Are there any concrete explanations for this trend here in America? It is troubling because of the implications of obesity on short term and long term healthcare needs/requirements amongst the general population.

We smoke less it seems compared to past generations (which is obviously good), but people seem to be way more sedentary relative to past generations. The American diet these days is horrible, too.
 
Are there any concrete explanations for this trend here in America? It is troubling because of the implications of obesity on short term and long term healthcare needs/requirements amongst the general population.

We smoke less it seems compared to past generations (which is obviously good), but people seem to be way more sedentary relative to past generations. The American diet these days is horrible, too.

The two main reasons for the obesity epidemics in the US are :

1) Bad diet : too much sugar, especially in soft drinks; too big portions; too much processed food, etc.
2) Lack of exercice : people in all developed countries tend to sit too much in front of their screens. What is very different in the U.S is the heavy dependence on cars. People hardly walk or cycle compared to Europe or Japan. That's because of the way American cities are designed. This video explains it very well.

 
I think the numbers are very exaggerated particularly in the earlier years. No way that 50% of American men were obese in the 70s. Maybe closer to 30% or even lower. I still want to know the methodology of this study. Is it from patients in hospitals? Truly random? People in the street?
 
I think the numbers are very exaggerated particularly in the earlier years. No way that 50% of American men were obese in the 70s. Maybe closer to 30% or even lower. I still want to know the methodology of this study. Is it from patients in hospitals? Truly random? People in the street?
The chart you are referring to is for overweight + obese people, no just obese people. You can follow my link to the NIH page to see their methodology. The first two graphs are based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2017–2018.

The third graph is based on the CDC's Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Severe Obesity Among Adults Aged 20 and Over: United States, 1960–1962 Through 2017–2018.
 
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A more comprehensive chart, again produced in ChatGPT:

LImctVO.png
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It seems like the Non-Hispanics White (NH-White) male average is similar to Ireland, and Hungary. That makes sense a lot of White Americans are in fact Irish, or partly-Irish. With other Europeans fairly close.
 
A more comprehensive chart, again produced in ChatGPT:

LImctVO.png


Oddly this data does not match the official obesity rates published by the NIH.

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Instead of 75% of obesity for Hispanic women, the NIH gives the figure of 43.7%, only marginally higher than for non-Hispanic White women (39.8%). For men, you data from ChatGPT gives 25% of obesity for NHW and 30% for Hispanics, while the NIH gives 44.7% and 45.7%.
 
dJpgMQQ.png


It seems like the Non-Hispanics White (NH-White) male average is similar to Ireland, and Hungary. That makes sense a lot of White Americans are in fact Irish, or partly-Irish. With other Europeans fairly close.

I checked the obesity rates in Europe (EU Commission data for 2019) and it is more or less the same as what ChatGDP gave you. However non-Hispanic White males in the US have 44.7% of obesity, which is well above anything found in Europe and 3 times more than the West European average (around 14%).
 
Oddly this data does not match the official obesity rates published by the NIH.

View attachment 14470


Instead of 75% of obesity for Hispanic women, the NIH gives the figure of 43.7%, only marginally higher than for non-Hispanic White women (39.8%). For men, you data from ChatGPT gives 25% of obesity for NHW and 30% for Hispanics, while the NIH gives 44.7% and 45.7%.
The chart was made from CDC as a source, perhaps they may have different figures. I'll look into it properly when I get a chance.
 
Most other times that I searched this topic, women were more overweight and obese than men, across all races.
 
Yeah, I see fat people almost everywhere, but to think it's up to 75%! Damn That's a pretty big figure
 

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