WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the U.S., the adult obesity rate is 27.7% thus far in 2014. This compares with the 27.1% average in 2013 — the highest annual rate Gallup and Healthways have measured since beginning to track obesity in 2008.

American Adults, by Weight Category

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which uses respondents’ self-reports of their height and weight to calculate body mass index (BMI) scores, differs slightly from government reports of obesity, which are based on actual heights and weights found in clinical measurements. Individual BMI values of 30 or above are classified as “obese,” 25 to 29.9 are “overweight,” 18.5 to 24.9 are “normal weight,” and 18.4 or less are “underweight.” For the past six years, nearly two-thirds of Americans have had BMIs higher than are recommended, while roughly 35% of Americans have been in the “normal weight” category.

Thirty-five percent of Americans are classified having a normal weight so far in 2014, while 35.3% of adults are considered “overweight.” Meanwhile, underweight Americans make up a very small 2.1% of the adult population.

The obesity rate was 25.5% in 2008 when Gallup and Healthways first began tracking it. The percentage of obese adults has fluctuated since then, but is now 2.2 percentage […]

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