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22 Jun, 2013

Snapshot: U.S. Obesity Rate Ticking Up

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The adult obesity rate in the U.S. thus far in 2013, at 27.1%, is on pace to surpass rates in prior years. It is up from 26.2% in 2012 and much higher than the 25.5% found in 2008.

This uptick in obesity is accompanied by slight declines in the percentage of Americans who are classified as overweight and normal weight. The percentage who are overweight fell to 35.6% so far this year from 36.1% in 2012, while the percentage who are a normal weight slipped to 35.4% from 35.9% in 2012.

Gallup and Healthways began tracking Americans’ weight in 2008. The 2013 data are based on more than 84,000 interviews conducted from Jan. 1 through June 20 as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Gallup uses respondents’ self-reported 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.”

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