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U.S. Adult Obesity Rate Tops 40% For First Time, Covid-19 To Blame

Oct. 20, 2020

No surprise here… The U.S. adult obesity rate stands at 42.4 percent, the first time the national rate has passed the 40 percent mark, providing further evidence of the country’s obesity crisis. The national adult obesity rate has increased by 26 percent since 2008.

With consumers working and staying at home during the pandemic since March, it’s no wonder that they have packed on the pounds. Most gyms and health clubs have been closed and consumers have been more sedentary. Couple that with eating more comfort food and all the stress over work, finances, and unemployment, and it’s easy to see how the pounds have added up. Weight loss companies should have lots of business in the next 6-12 months when the pandemic eases, to take off those pounds.

Based in part on newly released 2019 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System (BFRSS), this report provides an annual snapshot of rates of overweight and obesity nationwide including by age, gender, race and state of residence.

Concerns about the impact of obesity have taken on new dimensions this year as having obesity is one of the underlying health conditions associated with the most serious consequences of COVID infection, including hospitalization and death.

Twelve states have adult rates above 35 percent, they are: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.  As recently as 2012, no state had an adult obesity rate above 35 percent; in 2000 no state had an adult obesity rate above 25 percent.

Rates of childhood obesity are also increasing with the latest data showing that 19.3 percent of U.S. young people, ages 2 to 19, have obesity. In the mid-1970s, 5.5 percent of young people had obesity.

Socioeconomic factors such as poverty and discrimination have contributed to higher rates of obesity among certain racial and ethnic populations.  Black adults have the highest level of adult obesity nationally at 49.6 percent; that rate is driven in large part by an adult obesity rate among Black women of 56.9 percent.  Latinx adults have an obesity rate of 44.8 percent.  The obesity rates for white adults is 42.2 percent.  Asian adults have an overall 17.4 percent obesity rate.

For More Information About The U.S. Weight Loss Market…

See the Marketdata website (www.marketdataenterprises.com), and reports such as: “The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market” (report FS67 ), and the “2020 Weight Loss Market Status Report: Effects of the Pandemic” (report FS72 ), or contact John LaRosa, Research Director, for custom research, consulting and conference calls. Marketdata has tracked the weight loss market regularly since 1989–31 years.

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