In 1990, obese adults made up less than 15 percent
of the population in most U.S. states. [ By 2010, 36 states had obesity rates of 25 percent
or higher, and 12 of those had obesity rates of 30 percent
Today, nationwide, roughly two out of three U.S. adults are overweight or obese (69 percent
) and one out of three is obese (36 percent
). (2) While U.S. obesity rates have, overall, stayed steady since 2003, the rates are still rising in some groups, and disparities persist: Non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and Mexican American adults have higher rates of obesity than non-Hispanic white adults.
Even more alarming, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents is on the rise, and youth are becoming overweight and obese at earlier ages. One out of six children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are obese and one out of three are overweight or obese. Early obesity not only increases the likelihood of adult obesity, it also increases the risk of heart disease in adulthood, (5) as well as the prevalence of weight-related risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.