Latest News » New study finds that over two-thirds of adult Americans are either obese or overweight

Approximately 75 percent of adult American men and 67 percent of women are either overweight or obese, according to a new study.

A disturbing new study released on June 22 reveals that more than two-thirds of U.S. adults are obese or overweight, with less than one-third actually exhibiting a healthy weight level.

These findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, underscore a widely-known belief about the average American's weight, but quantify it in a profoundly startling way. According to the researchers, a whopping 75 percent of American men are either obese or overweight — 35 percent and 40 percent, respectively. The numbers didn't fare much better for adult American women, with 37 percent being obese and 30 percent being overweight, for a combined total of 67 percent at an unhealthy weight. These figures are tantamount to 36 million overweight men and 29 million overweight women in the United States, and another 32 million men and 36 million women as obese.

Those conclusions were extrapolated from 15,000 men and women age 25 and up, whose weights were recorded by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2007 and 2012. Not only are these figures disconcerting enough in their own right, but they represent a significant step up from a survey conducted between 1988 and 1994, where 63 percent of men and 55 percent of women were found to be overweight or obese. That represents a 12 percent jump for both men and women in the last 20 years.

"Obesity is not getting better. It's getting worse, and it's really scary. It's not looking pretty," said Lin Yang, a Washington University School of Medicine research associate. "This generation of Americans is the first that will have a shorter life expectancy than the previous generation, and obesity is one of the biggest contributors to this shortened life expectancy because it is driving a lot of chronic health conditions."

As Yang notes, obesity is a common risk factor in a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and arthritis.

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