Two Years of Obesity Rate Decline on the Line

For the last two years obesity in the U.S. has been on a slight decline; however, 2013 looks to be the year to break that streak - so far the obesity rate is up a full percentage point.

For the last two years obesity in the U.S. has been on a slight decline; however, 2013 looks to be the year to break that streak, according to a new Gallup poll.

In 2013 the adult obesity rate is at 27.2%, which is up a full percentage point from 2012. Furthermore, the rate is on pace to surpass every annual average obesity rate since 2008, when 25.5% of the adult population was obese.

However, two weeks earlier, USA Today reported on statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed that 35% of adult Americans were obese in 2012.

Gallup put both the percentage of normal weight adults and the perce

ntage of overweight adults at 36% in 2012. There was a slight decline in both as the obesity rate rose — 35.3% of adults are normal weight in 2013 and 35.5% are overweight. Roughly 2% are classified as underweight in 2013.

For the last two years obesity in the U.S. has been on a slight decline; however, 2013 looks to be the year to break that streak

Prior to 2011 Americans were most commonly cited as overweight, but in the two years since adults have been about as likely to be overweight as normal weight.

Meanwhile, the increase in obesity rates so far in 2013 has taken place across all major demographic and socioeconomic groups, although among 18- to 29-year-olds the rate of obesity remained stable.

The largest increase in obesity was among the 45 to 64 age group and those with annual income between $30,000 and $74,000, according to Gallup’s data. However, blacks continue to be the group with the highest obesity rate (35.7%).

“It is unclear why the obesity rate is up this year, and the trend since 2008 shows a pattern of some fluctuation,” wrote Lindsey Sharpe for Gallup. “This underscores the possibility that that the recent uptick is shorter-term, rather than a more permanent change. Still, if the current trend continues for the next several years, the implications for the health of Americans and the increased burden on the health care system could be significant.”