There Are Now More Obese Americans Than Overweight Americans, But By All Means Supersize Your Deep-Fried Deep-Dish

According to a new study the number of clinically obese Americans (BMI over 30) is now greater than the number of overweight Americans (BMI of 25 to 29.9), meaning for the first time in history there are now more obese people in America than overweight. According to the JAMA Internal Medicine study women were significantly more likely to be obese than overweight (37% obese, 30% overweight), and over two-thirds of women in America are either overweight or obese. On the flip side 3 out of ever 4 men in America are either overweight or obese. But seriously, by all means, supersize that order and make sure to top off your 60oz shake with an order of cheesecake, because YOLO.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

A tally by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis estimated that 67.6 million Americans over the age of 25 were obese as of 2012, and an additional 65.2 million were overweight. Their count was based on data collected between 2007 and 2012 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an ongoing study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

he NHANES data included information on height and weight, which are used to calculate a person’s body mass index. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal. Someone with a BMI in the 25-to-29.9 range is considered overweight, and a BMI over 30 qualifies a person as obese. (You can calculate your BMI here.)

Women were much more likely to be obese than overweight, with 37% of women in the former category and 30% in the latter. Altogether, two out every three women in the U.S. were above a normal weight.

The proportion of men who were obese was almost as high as women – 35%. But that figure was lower than the 40% of men who were in the overweight zone. With both groups combined, three out of four men in the U.S. exceeded a normal weight.

African Americans had the highest rates of obesity among both men (39%) and women (57%). The researchers found that 17% of black women and 7% of black men were extremely obese, meaning their body mass index was over 40.

Among the group labeled Mexican Americans, 38% of men and 43% of women were obese. For whites, 35% of men and 34% of women were obese. No data were reported for Asian Americans, who until recently have been undersampled in NHANES surveys.

The study from JAMA Internal Medicine used a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index) as their metric to measure obesity and overweight, BMI is measured as ‘weight divided by height squared’ (Formula: weight (kg) / [height (m)]2), and it does not measure body fat directly but in general it’s what doctors use to identify individuals who are either obese or overweight. Many doctors steer clear of using the BMI measurement these days, but it’s still the overall standard.

I went on and on about BMI because I checked out this BMI calculator and found out that I’m overweight, even though I hit the gym 5 days a week. Thank you BMI for telling me I’m not seeing enough gains. Now I can double down and get on that Vitamin-S…

[via Karen Kaplan at the LA Times]