Nutrition Business Journal

Obese outnumber overweight in U.S.

There are now more Obese Americans than there are merely overweight Americans, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The study shows that more than 34% of Americans are obese, while only 32.7% are overweight. 6% of the population is considered “extremely” obese.


According to the study, more than 72 million people were obese in 2005 and 2006. The data is based on a survey of more than 4,300 adults over age 20. Obesity and overweight classifications are based on body mass index, or weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. BMI’s between 25 and 29 are considered overweight with 30 to 40 being obese. A BMI over 40 is considered morbidly obese. In a previous study, the CDC reported 32% of U.S. children were overweight, with 16% qualifying as obese.

According to Nutrition Business Journal estimates, U.S. consumers spent $3.8 billion on weight loss supplements, including meal replacement supplements, in 2007. Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease, cancer and other conditions. U.S. consumers spent $1.5 billion on supplements aimed at cardio or hearth health in 2007, while $1.3 billion was spent on supplements aimed at preventing or treating cancer, according to NBJ estimates.

If you are an NBJ Subscriber and want to read more of NBJ’s coverage of obesity issues and how they relate to the nutrition industry, use your username and password to log into the subscriber-only side of and read the following stories:

U.S. Adult Obesity Rates Continue to Expand
Who is the Fattest Nation in the World?
Hormone Helps Brain Resist Tempting Foods

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