U.S. obesity rate hits a new high — 28% (with another 35.6% classified as overweight)

According to this Gallup report, the U.S. obesity rate has hit a new high — 28% — up 2.5 percentage points since just 2008. Here are some excerpts from the report:

Rgxlqo2q60miwywrsnhjlqIn addition to the 28.0% who are obese, another 35.6% of adults are classified as overweight, with 34.6% normal weight and 1.8% underweight, as reported in 2015. As with obesity, diabetes generally has trended upward since 2008. The rates of both conditions declined slightly in 2011, only to see annual upticks in the years since. The obesity and diabetes trends typically parallel each other given the close relationship between the two health conditions, but are not always in lockstep. In 2015, 11.4% of Americans reported having been diagnosed with diabetes, unchanged from 2014. This equates to about 27.9 million adults living with diabetes. * * * The obesity rate has continued to rise in the U.S. after leveling off from 2011 to 2013, and has done so despite rising public concern. Past research has demonstrated that obesity and its associated chronic conditions including diabetes cost the U.S. economy $153 billion per year in unplanned absenteeism due to poor health, a figure that has increased since the time of that study. And while blacks suffer disproportionately from chronic conditions associated with obesity, the sharp increase in obesity measured among whites since 2008 signifies that this is not a problem isolated to one racial or ethnic group.

Despite these sobering data public-health efforts regarding obesity and diabetes may be starting to work. In 2014, federal officials reported that, in the last decade, among children aged two to five, obesity rates have dropped significantly. And the report showed why: little kids are, among other things, drinking fewer sugary drinks and taking in fewer calories. Reducing obesity among little kids is considered important because little kids who are not obese are much less likely than their obese peers to be obese as adults.

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