Earlier this week the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new statistics showing that obesity among children ages two to five has dropped significantly over the past decade. This is a positive sign for America’s future health, but the current state of obesity in the U.S. is still being described as an epidemic by health professionals.
Gallup today released new poll results showing that just 27.1% of American adults could be considered obese last year. This represents a nearly 1% increase over the 26.2% of Americans that the organization estimated to be obese during 2012.
Since the Gallup poll is based on self-reported height and weight from survey respondents, this estimate is quite a bit lower than government estimates of obesity. The latest estimate from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that nearly 35% of Americans over 20 are obese.
Even so, the Gallup survey also found that the percentage of normal weight and overweight Americans dropped in conjunction with the rise in obesity. The percentage of normal weight Americans dropped to 35.2% in 2013 and the percentage of overweight Americans dropped to 35.7%, according to the poll.
The poll data shows that older and middle class Americans are becoming larger at a faster rate than others. Adults from age 45 to 64 saw their obesity rate jump 1.8% year-over-year and those age 65 and older saw their rate rise by 1.1%. The obesity rate among Americans with an annual income between $36,000 and $89,999 jumped 1.7% in 2013 and those with even lower incomes had a percentage increase of 1.1%. Other demographics with obesity rates rising faster than the national average include those living in the Midwest (1.2%), those living in the South (1.1%), and women (1.2%).