How did American adults fare in 2018 when it comes to obesity? A new report reveals a 5 percent increase in obesity rates among American adults this year.

Obesity Among American Adults

The United Health Foundation's annual report regarding health in the United States found that there was a 5 percent increase in obesity rates among American adults in 2018, from the 29.9 obesity percentage in 2017 to 31.3 percent in 2018.

This means that there are more adults in 2018 with a body mass index of 30.0 or higher, based on their reported height and weight.

2018 Obesity Rates

Obesity was found to be the highest among adults aged 45 to 64, and the lowest among adults aged 18 to 44. Race/ethnicity-wise, black Americans had the highest obesity rates, followed by Alaska Natives, multiracial Americans, Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanic, white, and other race. Asian adults had the lowest obesity rates.

Adults over 25 with a college degree as well as those with an annual income of over $25,000 had lower obesity rates compared to those with no college degree and those with annual incomes of below $25,000. Since 2012, obesity prevalence has significantly increased in 23 states, with the largest increases seen in Iowa, Alaska, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Dakota.

Obesity A Health Issue

Some contributing factors to obesity include genetics, poor diet, lack of physical activity, medical history, and social and physical environment. Unfortunately, obesity is not just a weight problem, but a serious health problem as well. It contributes to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and cancer, and it is a leading cause of preventable life years lost. Not only that, obesity has been linked to poorer mental health and a reduced quality of life.

Some important health behaviors that combat obesity are regular physical activity, as well as a healthy diet. Overall, it is important to have a healthy energy balance between calories consumed and the calories used for physical activities.

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