US obesity hit 20-year high in 2017

The prevalence of obesity in U.S. adults was 42.4 percent in 2017-18, hitting a 20-year high, according to CDC data.

The prevalence of obesity increased from 30.5 percent between 1999 and 2000 to 42.4 percent between 2017 and 2018. Severe obesity, defined as having a body mass index equal to or greater than 40, increased from 4.7 percent to 9.2 percent in the same time period.

Incidence of obesity was similar among men and women, but severe obesity was higher among women from 2017 to 2018. Adults between the ages of 40 and 59 had the highest prevalence of severe obesity.

Obesity was highest among non-Hispanic black adults (49.6 percent) compared with other races, and was lowest among non-Hispanic Asian (17.4 percent).

Researchers gathered data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1999 to 2018 for this report.

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