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QuickStats: Number* of Youths Aged 2–19 Years and Adults Aged ≥20 Years with Obesity or Severe Obesity§ — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2015–2016


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* 95% confidence intervals indicated with error bars. The number of adults and youths with obesity and severe obesity was calculated by multiplying the unadjusted (crude) prevalence by the average population totals for 2015–2016 (74.3 million youths and 234.5 million adults). Prevalence estimates exclude pregnant females.

Body mass index (BMI) is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Obesity among youths was defined as sex-specific BMI-for-age at or above the 95th percentile of the CDC growth charts, and obesity among adults was defined as BMI ≥30.

§ Severe obesity among youths was defined as sex-specific BMI-for-age at or above 120% of the 95th percentile of the CDC growth charts, and severe obesity among adults was defined as BMI ≥40.

During 2015–2016, in the United States, there were 13.7 million youths (18.5%) with obesity, including 4.2 million youths (5.6%) with severe obesity. During this same period, in the United States, there were 93.3 million adults (39.8%) with obesity, including 17.8 million adults (7.6%) with severe obesity.

Sources: Hales et al. Trends in Obesity and Severe Obesity Prevalence in US Youth and Adults by Sex and Age, 2007–2008 to 2015–2016. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2676543; National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2015–2016. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm.

Reported by: Craig Hales, MD, CHales@cdc.gov, 301-458-4193; Amy E. Seitz, PhD.

Suggested citation for this article: QuickStats: Number of Youths Aged 2–19 Years and Adults Aged ≥20 Years with Obesity or Severe Obesity — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2015–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:966. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6734a7.

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