NEW YORK, N.Y. – About 4 in 10 American adults are obese, and nearly 1 in 10 is severely so, government researchers said Thursday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention findings come from a 2017-18 health survey that measures height and weight. More than 5,000 U.S. adults took part.
The survey found that the obesity rate was 42% — higher than the 40% found in a similar 2015-16 study. The severe obesity rate was more than 9% in the new survey, up from the 8% figure in the previous one.
Those increases aren't considered statistically significant: The survey numbers are small enough that there's a mathematical chance the rates didn't truly rise.
But it's clear that adult obesity rates are trending up, said the CDC's Cynthia Ogden, one of the report's authors.
A half-century ago, about 1 in 100 American adults were severely obese. Now it's 10 times more common.
The obesity rate has risen about 40% in the last two decades.
The findings suggest that more Americans will get diabetes, heart disease and cancer, said Dr. William Dietz, a George Washington University obesity expert.