Adult Obesity Facts
- The prevalence of obesity was 42.4% in 2017~2018. [Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief]
- From 1999–2000 through 2017–2018, the prevalence of obesity increased from 30.5% to 42.4%, and the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%. [Read CDC NCHS data brief]
- Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer that are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death. [Read guidelinesexternal icon]
- The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008 US dollars; the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [Read paperexternal icon]
- Non-Hispanic blacks (49.6%) had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by Hispanics (44.8%), non-Hispanic whites (42.2%) and non-Hispanic Asians (17.4%).
- The prevalence of obesity was 40.0% among young adults aged 20 to 39 years, 44.8% among middle-aged adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 42.8% among adults aged 60 and older.
The association between obesity and income or educational level is complex and differs by sex and race/ethnicity.
- Overall, men and women with college degrees had lower obesity prevalence compared with those with less education.
- By race/ethnicity, the same obesity and education pattern was seen among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women, and also among non-Hispanic white men, although the differences were not all statistically significant. Although the difference was not statistically significant among non-Hispanic black men, obesity prevalence increased with educational attainment. Among non-Hispanic Asian women and men and Hispanic men there were no differences in obesity prevalence by education level.
- Among men, obesity prevalence was lower in the lowest and highest income groups compared with the middle income group. This pattern was seen among non-Hispanic white and Hispanic men. Obesity prevalence was higher in the highest income group than in the lowest income group among non-Hispanic black men.
- Among women, obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group than in the middle and lowest income groups. This pattern was observed among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic women. Among non-Hispanic black women, there was no difference in obesity prevalence by income.
Obesity Prevalence Maps
State-specific data on adult obesity prevalence using self-reported information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) shows that obesity prevalence remains high in the United States.
Page last reviewed: June 29, 2020