NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

More Americans Overweight

December 15, 2000

The number of Americans who are overweight or obese is up from the early 1990s, according to preliminary results of a new government survey. The 1999 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey uses measured heights and weights to determine who is obese or overweight. Obesity is defined as roughly 30 pounds over a healthy body weight. Included in the findings:

  • An estimated 61 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, up from 56 percent in the early 1990s.
  • Now, 27 percent of adults are obese, compared with 23 percent in the early 1990s.
  • And that figure is up from just 15 percent in the late 1970s.

Experts expect the problem to get worse during the next decade if Americans don't control their eating and increase their physical activity, which will be difficult because of the availability of food around the clock and increasing reliance on energy-saving devices.

Source: Nanci Hellmich, "61% of Americans Overweight, Latest Health Survey Finds," USA Today, December 15, 2000.


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