Adult Obesity

More than one-third (78.6 million) of U.S. adults suffer from obesity-related conditions, including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Medical costs for people who are obese are estimated to be nearly $1,500 higher than those of normal weight. In totality, the cost of obesity in the United States is $147 billion annually.

Obesity affects some groups more than others.

  • African-American women are 57% more likely to be obese. Yet, they often don’t consider themselves to be overweight.
  • Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8%).
  • Obesity is higher among middle age adults, 40-59 years old (39.5%) than among younger adults, age 20-39 (30.3%) or adults over 60 or above (35.4%) adults.

Obesity and socioeconomic status

  • Among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men, those with higher incomes are more likely to have obesity than those with low income.
  • Higher income women are less likely to have obesity than low-income women.
  • There is no significant relationship between obesity and education among men. Among women, however, there is a trend—those with college degrees are less likely to have obesity compared with less educated women.