Obesity is considered an epidemic in the United States. Obesity is a serious concern since it increases people’s risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. While a person can be considered overweight if they are only one pound over healthy weight, obesity is considered being at least thirty pounds overweight. What percentage of Americans are overweight?
The number of overweight Americans is increasing. The estimate by the American Obesity Association is that 127 million Americans are overweight. Sixty million Americans are considered obese. The numbers of overweight Americans have been rising. The percentage of obese Americans has doubled since the 1970’s.
The rates of obesity increase with age. The percentage of Americans over the age of twenty who are overweight is sixty-seven percent according to a 2005-2006 estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eighteen percent of adolescents and fifteen percent of children aged six to eleven are overweight. Eleven percent of children between the ages of two and five are overweight.
The percentage of overweight Americans is slightly higher for men than for women. Though sixty-seven percent of men are overweight, sixty-two percent of women are overweight. But, the rate of obesity is higher for women than for men. Thirty-four percent of women are obese while almost twenty-eight percent of men are obese.
Some researchers were surprised by the finding that there are a higher percentage of obese Americans than overweight Americans. Of the sixty-seven percent of Americans who are overweight, thirty four percent are obese while almost thirty three percent are overweight.
The percentage of overweight Americans is expected to continue increasing. Some research suggests that by 2015, three-quarters of Americans will be overweight. Efforts have been made to educate the public and change this trend. Childhood obesity is often targeted by prevention measures. The schools have become a resource of information for parents. Schools send information about concerns about weight to parents of children who are overweight.
Americans who are overweight may discuss this with their doctors to get a medical opinion on being overweight and dieting. Some physicians refer overweight patients to nutritionists or dieticians to help the patient change their eating habits. Physicians often have their own suggestions for weight loss including diet and exercise that they share with their patients. In addition to school and medical efforts to change the trend of obesity in America, many restaurants are providing healthier food options on their menus.