America's Weight Issues on Slight Decline

The total percentage of Americans who were obese or overweight in 2011 is at the same level as in 2008, a slight drop from the previous year, with young adults and high-income Americans the least likely to be obese.

The total percentage of Americans who were obese or overweight in 2011 is at the same level as in 2008, a slight drop from the previous year, according to a Gallup poll.

In 2011, 62.1% of American adults were overweight or obese, which represents a downward trend over the last two years from 62.9% in 2010 and 63.1% in 2009. The percentage of overweight, but not obese, showed little change, but the amount of people who were obese dropped half a percentage point from 26.5% in 2010 to 26.1%.

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n all major demographic and socio-economic groups the percent of obese Americans declined or stayed the same, although blacks, low-income Americans and the middle aged are still more likely to struggle with obesity.

Young adults and high-income (income over $90,000) Americans are the least likely to be obese. Also falling under the national average are people living on the East and West Coasts, whites, women and those 65 years of age or older.

According to Gallup, even this slight drop in obesity can save the economy a significant amount of money since the cost of obesity is so high. In December 2010 the Society of Actuaries estimated the cost of obesity to the American economy to be $270 billion.

According to a Gallup study from October 2011, obesity and chronic related health issues cost businesses at least $150 billion a year.

Although the country is seeing a slight reversal in what had been a negative upward trend, its estimated that a quarter of American adults are still obese.