African American Obesity Rate

Over 100 million American adults are obese, and African Americans have the highest obesity rate. CDC reports, “Non-Hispanic Black adults had the highest prevalence of self-reported obesity (39.8%).” Furthermore, data from 2017-2019 show “34 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) had an obesity prevalence of 35% or higher among non-Hispanic Black adults.” So what percentage the African Americans are obese?

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African-American Adult Obesity Rate

African-American adults, aka non-Hispanic blacks, have an obesity rate of 49.6% (CDC 2017-2018). Rounding to the nearest whole percent, 50% of African-American adults, or 1 out of 2, are obese. Is the African American obesity rate different for men and women?

African American Obesity Rates obese woman with man on bed copy
Happy African American couple lying happily on the bed.

African American Obesity Rate Differences

African American obesity in women is much greater than in men. According to the 2018 CDC Table 26, just over a third (37.5%) of African American men are obese. Whereas, over half of African American women (56.1%) are obese with a “BMI greater than or equal to 30.” So how does African American women obesity compare to other groups?

African American Women Obesity

Compared to other groups in the United States, African American women have the highest rates of obesity. The top three groups with the highest percentage of obesity are the following:

  • African American woman 56.1%
  • Mexican woman 51.3%
  • Hispanic or Latina women 48.4%

African American and Latina Women
Obese African American and Latina Women

Discover the age group with the highest obesity rate in America. Now that you know African American women have the highest obesity rate, how many African Americans are obese?

Number of Obese African Americans

According to July 1, 2019, U.S. Census, 13.4% of individuals reported being African American only. Since the total U.S. population was 328.2 million people, the number of African Americans is 44 million. Hence, the number of obese African Americans equals 49.6% of 44 million. 

Thus, the total number of obese African Americans was 21.8 million. How does this number compare to the number of obese Hispanic or Latino people?

How many obese Hispanic or Latino people?

The 2018 CDC Table 26 reports 44.8% of Hispanic or Latino people were obese. The U.S. Census reports Hispanic or Latino people represent 18.5% of the population. Hence, 44.8% of this 60.7 million population equals 27.2 million Hispanics or Latinos with obesity.

Thus, the United States has 5.4 million more obese Hispanic or Latino people than African Americans. Finally, how does the number of obese African Americans compare to white people?

African Amerian and Hispanic or Latina Obesity Rates women in bathing suits at pool
Group of African American and Hispanic women at pool.

How many obese white people in America?

Obese white people in American

The 2018 CDC Table 26 reports 37.9% of white people were obese, which was the lowest obesity rate compared to any other group. Since the U.S. Census reported 76.3% white people, the number of white Americans is 250.4 million. Hence, the number of obese white people equals 37.9% of 250.4 million.

Thus, the total number of white obese people is 94.9 million. White Americans have the most obese people than any other group.

Take the Obesity Quiz

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Which group has the highest obestity rate?
Which group has the largest number of obese people?

Health Risk Assessment

Body Mass Index (BMI) is just one health risk assessment. Discover other health risk assessments such as waist-to-hip ratio, waist circumference, and waist-to-height


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