Americans were as likely to be obese in 2012 as they were in 2011. But the 26.2% who were obese in 2012 remains slightly higher than the 25.5% recorded in 2008. Another 36.1% of Americans were overweight in 2012 and about as many were a normal weight — 35.9%.
The 2012 data comprise more than 350,000 surveys of American adults. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index uses respondents’ self-reports of their height and weight to calculate body mass index (BMI) scores. Individual BMI values of 30 or above are classified as “obese,” 25 to 29.9 are “overweight,” 18.5 to 24.9 are “normal weight,” and 18.4 or less are “underweight.”
The World Health Organization further classifies BMIs of 30.00 or higher into one of three classes of obesity:
Obese class I = 30.00 to 34.99
Obese class II = 35.00 to 39.99
Obese class III = 40.00 or higher
Those with BMIs of 40 or higher — obese class III — are often considered “morbidly obese.” Based on self-reports of height and weight, 3.6% of American adults were “morbidly obese” in 2012. This is on par with 3.4% in 2011 and 3.5% in 2009 and 2010.
Here is a Gallup chart on obesity and demographic groups:
Obesity is a preventable condition and with better education, Americans will be able to live longer and healthy.Tags: Obesity, Polling
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