Obesity in America by Age

Which age group is affected the most by obesity in America? This article will look at the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults age 20 and over. You will discover the obesity rates for the following age groups:

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

  • All ages 20 and over
  • 20-39
  • 40-59
  • 60 and over

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2017-2018, 42.4% of U.S. adults age 20 or over are obese. Find out how many millions of Americans are obese

Obesity in America by Age
Obesity rates of adults in United States, 2017-2018.

Figure 1 shows no significant difference between men and women in all age groups.

Obesity in America by Age African American Man 30

Obesity Rate of Young Adults

Forty percent (40%) of American adults ages 20 to 39 are obese. In other words, 4 out of 10 young adults are obese. The 40% obesity rate of these younger adults is slightly less than older Americans. Furthermore, the obesity rate of both men and women was about the same.

Middle-aged Americans are the age group most affected by obesity.

Hispanic man 50

Middle-Aged Obesity Rate

Americans age 40-59 have the highest obesity rate at 44.8%. In other words, the age group 40 to 59 is the most affected by obesity in America. In particular, middle-aged men have the highest obesity rate, 46.4%, than any other group.

Older adults, including seniors, have an obesity rate about the same as all Americans.

Obesity African American Woman 60

Obesity Rate of Older Adults

Older adults have an obesity rate of 42.8%. Specifically, obesity of Americans age 60 and over is more than younger adults age 20-39 but less than middle-aged adults 40-59. Lastly, the obesity rate of older women was slightly more than men. 

Discover African American obesity rate differences between men, women, and other groups, such as Hispanic and White people.

Take the Obesity Age Quiz

Select your answer and submit quiz to view results.

Which age group has the highest obesity rate?
Who has the highest obesity rate?Middle-aged have the highest obesity rate.

Obesity and BMI

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. In addition to adult obesity, 25% of children and adolescents in America have obesity. (CDC.gov) Adults and children with obesity are at risk for poor health.

Discover other health risk assessments such as waist-to-hip ratio, waist circumference, and waist-to-height-ratio.

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