Prevalence of Obesity Among Children and Adolescents in the United States and Canada

August 27, 2015

About one-quarter of Canadian adults and more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. Obese children are at risk of becoming obese adults and can experience immediate health consequences such as psychosocial stress, elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, and abnormal glucose tolerance. Monitoring trends in childhood obesity is important in order to assess interventions aimed at reducing the burden of obesity.

A new NCHS report looks at the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents in the United States and Canada.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In the late 1970s, the prevalence of childhood obesity was the same in Canada and the United States, but recently the prevalence is 4.5 percentage points higher in the United States than in Canada.
  • No change has been seen over the last decade in the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents in Canada or the United States.
  • The prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 3–19 in Canada was lower (13.0%) than in the United States (17.5%) in recent years.
  • There was no difference between Canada and the United States in the prevalence of obesity among children aged 3–6 years.
  • In the non-Hispanic white population, the prevalence of obesity among girls was lower in Canada than in the United States, but there was no difference between the two countries among boys.

Perception of Weight Status in U.S. Children and Adolescents Aged 8–15 Years, 2005–2012

July 29, 2014

Childhood obesity is a major public health problem associated with many adverse health outcomes in adulthood. During 2011–2012, nearly 17% of children and adolescents were obese. Weight status misperception occurs when the child’s perception of their weight status differs from their actual weight status based on measured height and weight. Accurate weight status self-perception has been linked to appropriate weight control behaviors in youth.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data for children and adolescents aged 8–15 years offers an opportunity to examine weight perception status in this age group.

Key Findings from the Report:

 

  • About 30% of children and adolescents aged 8–15 years in the United States misperceive their weight status. Weight status misperception is more common among boys (32.3%) than girls (28.0%).
  • About one-third of Mexican-American (34.0%) and non-Hispanic black (34.4%) children and adolescents misperceive their weight status compared with non-Hispanic white children and adolescents (27.7%).
  • Approximately 81% of overweight boys and 71% of overweight girls believe they are about the right weight.
  • Nearly 48% of obese boys and 36% of obese girls consider themselves to be about the right weight.

 


Obesity Prevalence Among U.S. Adults Level Off

October 18, 2013

NCHS has put out a report that presents national estimates of obesity among adults in the United States in 2011–2012, based on measured weight and height.

Scale

The health risks associated with obesity make reducing the high prevalence of obesity a public health priority. Previous publications have shown both racial and ethnic disparities in obesity prevalence and no change in the prevalence of obesity among adults since 2003–2004.

This report shows national obesity prevalence estimates for non-Hispanic Asian persons are possible for the first time, using newly available data.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • More than one-third (34.9%) of adults were obese in 2011–2012.
  • In 2011–2012, the prevalence of obesity was higher among middle-aged adults (39.5%) than among younger (30.3%) or older (35.4%) adults.
  • The overall prevalence of obesity did not differ between men and women in 2011–2012. Among non-Hispanic black adults, however, 56.6% of women were obese compared with 37.1% of men.
  • In 2011–2012, the prevalence of obesity was higher among non-Hispanic black (47.8%), Hispanic (42.5%), and non-Hispanic white (32.6%) adults than among non-Hispanic Asian adults (10.8%).
  • The prevalence of obesity among adults did not change between 2009–2010 and 2011–2012.

Obesity – Americans still growing, but not as fast

January 14, 2010

New data in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) from NCHS statisticians show that the increasing rate of obesity may be slowing, although the prevalence of adults who are obese is still high. The numbers from 2007-2008 show that 33.8% of U.S. adults are obese (32.2% for men, 35.5% for women). The growth of the obesity rate in the U.S. over the past 40 years is depicted below.

Obesity by age, United States, 1971-1974 through 2005-2006:

For the data table, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus08.pdf and see Trend Table 75.


A New Year’s resolution – Don’t follow the masses when it comes to exercise

December 30, 2009

What’s your new year’s resolution? For many people this time of year, losing weight and/or getting active tops the list. But when it comes to getting exercise (or, as we at NCHS term it, regular leisure-time physical activity), only about 35% of Americans are making it a priority (although, the percentage of those getting regular exercise in January through June of 2009 did increase from the same period in 2008). Take a look at the most recent statistics –

Percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who engaged in regular leisure-time physical activity: United States, 1997-June 2009 (Data from the National Health Interviewy Survey):

The answer? Don’t give up. And this year, if losing weight and getting active is your goal, maybe it’s time to give your resolution more than lip service.

For more details, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/released200912.htm.


Obesity information-it starts with the letters NHANES

August 5, 2009

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released information concerning the prevalence and costs of the growing epidemic of obesity in the United States. Some of the most critical information concerning the weight of the nation is collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which takes actual measurements of a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population.

For the most recent information on obesity and overweight, please visit the Health E-Stat report at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/overweight/overweight_adult.htm.

For a more general overview, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm.

As always, the NCHS press office can be reached at 301-458-4800.


Report card for Nation’s health focuses on young adults aged 18-29

February 18, 2009
Young adults in the United States aged 18-29 face a number of health challenges, including increases in obesity, high injury rates, and a lack of insurance coverage compared to other adults, according to the latest report on the nation’s health from NCHS.
  • Obesity rates have tripled among young adults in the past three decades, rising from 8 percent in 1971-74 to 24 percent in 2005-06.
  • In 2006, 29 percent of young men were current cigarette smokers compared to 21 percent of young adult women.  
  • In 2005, unintentional injuries (‘‘accidents’’), homicide, and suicide accounted for 70 percent of deaths among young adults 18–29 years of age. Three-quarters of the 47,000 deaths in this age group occurred among young men. 
  • In 2006, young adults aged 20–24 were more likely to be uninsured (34 percent) than those aged 18–19 (21 percent) and those aged 25–29 (29 percent). 

    For more visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus08.pdf.


New Health E-Stat integrates obesity and overweight prevalence data

January 14, 2009

Results from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), using measured heights and weights, indicate that an estimated 32.7 percent of U.S. adults 20 years and older are overweight, 34.3 percent are obese and 5.9 percent are extremely obese. Additional data as well as figures and tables can be found by visiting the following Web addres: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/overweight/overweight_adult.htm


New height, weight, and BMI tables available

October 29, 2008

This report presents national anthropometric reference data for all ages of the U.S. population in 2003–2006, adding to results published previously from 1960–2002. These latest NHANES data add to the knowledge about trends in child growth and development and trends in the distribution of body measurements, such as weight and height, in the U.S. population. To see full report, click here.

 


Lack of Sleep Linked With Adverse Health Behaviors

May 20, 2008

Adults who sleep less than 6 hours are more likely to smoke, drink, or be obese. Read more about sleep duration, the prevalence of cigarette smoking, alcohol use, leisure-time, physical inactivity, and obesity here!