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Home Blog 33 Upsetting Obesity Statistics & Facts for 2019

33 Upsetting Obesity Statistics & Facts for 2019

by Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD

In the past, most people didn’t recognize obesity as a disease. Now, however, the harmful impact it can have on a person’s health is well-known. The obesity facts tell us that this is a preventable condition, so long as a person can change and manage their dietary choices. Adults who are obese risk suffering from other health complications like stroke, osteoarthritis, coronary heart disease, litus, and hypertension.

Most people already know what obesity is, what the elements are that cause it, and how to avoid being overweight. The obesity statistics that we’ve selected can help you get relevant information about obesity and understand its impact on our society and the dangers associated with being overweight. 

In 2008, the approximated medical costs related to obesity were about $147 billion in the US alone. What’s more, the medical costs for an obese person were $1,427 higher than they were for someone of a healthy weight. The following information will further demonstrate the need to reduce obesity rates in our society.

Key Obesity Statistics 2019

We understand you may be hard-pressed for time, so we put together the most interesting and important information for a quick read.

  • Worldwide, more than 1.9 billion adults were reported as overweight.
  • The obesity rates in the US were 39.8% in adults and 18.5% in youth in 2015–2016.
  • The obesity epidemic accounts for an estimated 300,000 fatalities per year.
  • 90% of the people living with type 2 diabetes are obese.
  • In 2016, 340 million kids and teenagers ages 5 to 19 were overweight or obese.
  • In many cases, just losing 10% of your present weight can greatly reduce the danger of multiple illnesses.
  • The childhood obesity statistics indicate that kids struggling with obesity are 70% more likely to continue to be affected by obesity in adulthood.
  • A person’s body mass index is heritable at rates of 25%–40%.
  • The prevalence of the overweight epidemic in children increased from 4.8% to 6.2% between 1990 and 2015.
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development projects a steady rise in the rate of obesity, which will continue until 2030 at the very earliest.

Health and Obesity Stats

Obesity Statistics - Fat Dog

1. Losing about 10% of your present body weight can greatly reduce the danger of multiple illnesses. 


Nearly all the US obesity statistics and research suggests that by eating a healthy diet and having enough physical activity, individuals can reach and remain at a good weight throughout life. A healthy diet involves lots of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans, as well as low-calorie drinks. It also requires people to restrict their consumption of added sugars, snacks between meals, and high-calorie foods. The keto diet, though not particularly healthy and recommendable in the long run, is especially effective for weight loss.

2. There are at least 10 different causes of weight gain.


Healthline’s obesity statistics from 2018 list some causes of obesity that include but aren’t limited to engineered junk food, genetics, medications, the constant availability of food, and misinformation. A lot of people think that those who gain weight and become obese don’t have enough willpower to control themselves. But this isn’t true, there are a lot of factors that cause people to gain weight. 

3. 90% of the people with type 2 diabetes are obese.


Studying the obesity statistics worldwide, the 2018 data shows that being obese or overweight can have negative metabolic impacts on insulin resistance, blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. As one’s body fat increases, so too does the probability of getting hypertension and type 2 diabetes. About 85% of individuals with diabetes have the type 2 variant, and of them, 90% are obese or overweight. For most of the 20th century, this disease was limited to adults, but it now impacts obese kids even before puberty. 

4. The American Cancer Society (ACS) is presently financing nearly $12 million in grants for obesity-related studies.


Several organizations are working to prevent the adverse effects of obesity in America, the 2018 data shows. At centers across the US, the ACS is spending about $12 million for studies related to obesity. The studies include how chemical processes in the body lead to obesity, the effect of obesity on cancer and its dangers, cancer’s development and survival in these patients, and methods to promote lifestyle habits that decrease obesity in kids and teenagers.

Obesity Statistics in the USA

Obesity Statistics - USA

5. What percentage of Americans are overweight? The obesity rates in the US were 39.8% in adults and 18.5% in youth in 2015–2016.


Out of these numbers, the percentage of adults aged 40–59 who were obese was 42.8%. This was higher than that of obese adults aged 20–39 years, with a percentage of 35.7%. In the case of obesity in America, the statistics further show that there was no relevant difference between the rates for adults over 60 and younger age categories.

6. Young Hispanic males aged 2–19 have an obesity rate of 28%, and non-Hispanic black males of the same age group have an obesity rate of 19%.


Moreover, the prevalence of obesity for both genders among non-Hispanic black youths was 22%, and among Hispanic youths, it was 25.8%. According to the obesity rates in America from 2018, this surpassed the rates among non-Hispanic white youths, which were 14.1%, and Asian youths, 11.0%. The incidence of obesity among non-Hispanic whites and Asian youth or between non-black Hispanic youths and Hispanic youths was not significantly different. 

The pattern between girls in the same age category was comparable to this pattern. Obesity was most prevalent at 25.1% for non-Hispanic black female youths, according to the US obesity rate in 2018. In addition, it was 23.6% for Hispanic female youths, 13.5% for non-Hispanic white female youths, and 10.1% for Asian female youths.

7. The obesity rate in Mississippi is 35.2%.


The state of Mississippi is ranked as having the greatest obesity rate in America according to Gallup-Healthways’s rankings. Hawaii is also listed as the state with the lowest obesity rate, at 19%, according to the obesity statistics in America.

8. In addition, Mississippi has the highest percentage of overweight people at 67.4%.


It’s well known that America has a weight problem, and Mississippi is rated as having a very high number of overweight people. In fact, Mississippi has the highest percentage of overweight or obese citizens, with 67.4% of the population fitting into this category.

9. Where does America rank in obesity? The US is the 12th most obese country in the world.


The US is ranked as the 12th most obese country in the world with an obesity rate of 36.2% and an average body mass index (BMI) of 28.8.

10. The obesity epidemic accounts for an estimated 300,000 fatalities per year.


This information comes from the National Health Institutes’ research into how many people die from obesity. Issues linked to being overweight or obese come second when ranking the foremost causes of preventable deaths in the US—right behind the use of tobacco and its adverse effects.

According to scientists at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rates of American adolescents with obesity have continued to rise over the previous decade.

11. At least 1 out of 3 adults is deemed overweight.


In the case of these overweight and obesity statistics, there’s some differentiation between being overweight and being obese. Generally, for adults, if someone’s body mass index falls in the range between 25 and 29.9, the person is considered overweight, but if it’s over 30, up to 40, the person is obese. 

12. 2 out of 3 Americans over the age of 20 are reported as overweight or obese.


This obesity rate in America in 2019 shows that a large percentage of the adult population in America is classified as overweight. On top of that, of the 22 most industrialized countries, the US ranks the worst in terms of obesity.

13. In 2000, the US’s overall spend on obesity was over $117 billion. 

(Obesity Action)

Obesity has led to a lot of medical costs in the United States, as obesity statistics like this one clearly show. In 2002, problems with obesity or being overweight attributed to medical costs that reached an amazing $92.6 billion. In 2002, it cost about $1,244 more per person when treating someone struggling with obesity than a person with a healthy weight. And yet, many companies that offer insurance don’t include weight loss programs in their plans. 

14. The annual health care expenses relating to obesity may be as high as $240 billion in the US.


This statistic on obesity in America in 2019 is according to author Eric Schlosser as written in his book “Fast Food Nation.” In addition, the American Cancer Society verifies that due to the lengthy and costly therapy for several problems caused by obesity, it cost an estimated $75 billion back in 2003. The numbers provided by the National Health Institute are somewhat more conservative. According to them, $75–$125 billion is spent on indirect and direct expenses owing to illnesses associated with obesity.

Global Obesity Statistics

Obesity Statistics - Worldwide

15. 1 in every 5 adults is obese in countries belonging to the OECD.


This corresponds to about 19.5% of the adult population in these OECD countries. This proportion is greater in some countries and lower in others. The rate moves from 6% in countries like Japan and Korea to greater than 30% in countries like New Zealand, Hungary, the US, and Mexico.

16. The obesity statistics worldwide show that 13% of the adults in the world were considered obese in 2016.


About 11% of men and 15% of women were obese in the year 2016, according to research carried out by the WHO. 

17. 38.3% of Mexico’s population is overweight.


In Mexico, the obesity rate shows that out of a sample consisting of 49.4% women and 50.6% men, 24.4% of them were reported as obese and 38.3% of them were overweight. This research also found that about 62.2% of the respondents were actively taking actions to reduce their weight. Nevertheless, the rates at which people gave up on their treatment were also high.

18. In England, men’s obesity rates increased from 13.2% to 26% in just 10 years.


This noticeable increase took place from 1993 to 2013. There was also a corresponding rise in obesity rates for women, from 16.4% to 23.8%, according to the same obesity stats. Additionally, the overall population of those who were overweight or obese increased from 57.6% to 67.1% for men and 48.6% to 57.2% for women.

19. The OECD’s projections report a steady rise in the rate of obesity until 2030 at the earliest.


The levels of obesity are projected to be high in countries like England, the United States, and Mexico, where 39%, 47%, and 35% of the population is expected to be overweight or obese by 2030, respectively. According to obesity statistics from 2016, the rise is anticipated to be greater in Korea and Italy, with obesity levels projected to reach 9% and 12% respectively in 2030. The level of obesity in France is projected to almost match Spain’s in 2030 at 21%. Countries with historically low rates of obesity like Switzerland and Korea are expected to rise at quicker rates.

20. Worldwide, more than 1.9 billion adults were reported as overweight.


This statistic shows that in the year 2016 about 39% of all the adult population in the entire world was overweight, amounting to about 1.9 billion people. Of this group, an excess of about 650 million of them were obese, meaning around 13% of adults in the world were obese.

21. What country is the most obese? In 2018, Nauru had the highest obesity rate, at 61%.


The countries with the greatest levels of obesity are usually small Pacific Island countries like Tonga, Kiribati, and Samoa. Nearly four out of five people in these countries are obese or overweight. Almost all the food must be imported into these island countries, and therefore it’s costly, but fast food chains provide cheap and easy options.

22. So which country has the highest obesity numbers? Nauru’s residents have the highest average BMI, at 32.5.


The body mass index (BMI) is what’s used to determine if a person has a normal weight or if they’re overweight or obese. About 61% of the people in Nauru have a BMI higher than 30, which is why it has the highest percentage of obese people.

23. Which country has the healthiest population? Vietnam is the least obese country in the world, with an obesity prevalence of 2.1%.


Vietnam is classified as the healthiest country in terms of body mass index and weight. It has the lowest prevalence of obesity in the world, and it has an overall average BMI of 21.6, which is also the same as Afghanistan’s.

Childhood Obesity

Obesity Statistics - Childhood

24. According to the latest figures on the childhood obesity rates in America, almost 1 in 6 children are obese or overweight.


Several OECD countries have put policies in place to reduce obesity and the risk of citizens becoming overweight. Despite these policies, a high number of 15-year-olds have been reported as obese or overweight, and that number has been increasing gradually since 2000. These childhood obesity statistics from 2016 are according to a survey studying the health behavior of school-aged children.

25. Approximately 41 million children under 5 years of age are obese or overweight.


The likelihood of children being overweight or obese is now on the increase in low- and middle-income nations, especially in urban environments—though this was once regarded as an issue prevalent in high-income countries. According to the global childhood obesity statistics from 2017, the portion of overweight or obese kids under the age of 5 in Africa has risen by almost 50% since 2000. In addition, nearly half of the children under the age of 5 living in Asia in 2016 were overweight or obese.

26. 9.4% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 are obese.

(Medical News Today)

This is according to a paper published by the Journal of the American Medical Association that studied 40,780 children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 in the years 2013 and 2014. The childhood obesity statistics from 2017 show that of the 9.4% young children who are obese, 1.7% of them suffer from extreme obesity.

27. In 2016, more than 340 million kids and adolescents aged 5 to 19 years were overweight or obese.


The incidences of overweight or obese kids and teenagers have increased drastically from just 4% in 1975 to over 18% in 2016. The increase was similar among boys and girls: 18% of all girls and 19% of all boys were considered overweight in the year 2016. Although just below 1% of kids and teenagers aged 5–19 were obese in 1975, recent child obesity statistics show that this figure has risen to more than 124 million kids and teenagers. Out of these, 8% of them are boys and 6% are girls.

28. Children struggling with obesity are 70% more likely to continue to be affected by obesity in adulthood.

(Obesity Action)

Children suffering from obesity are predisposed to obesity and severe obesity when they grow up, according to childhood obesity statistics from 2019. Environmental factors such as lack of physical activity and technological advances have resulted in a more sedentary lifestyle for the children of this decade. Moreover, childhood obesity effects on your later life include a high likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

29. Obesity affects about 25% of kids in minority ethnic groups in America.

(Obesity Action)

The greatest rates of rising obesity in children were experienced by members of certain minority groups, namely African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. The obesity statistics worldwide from 2019 show that this can lead to these children being treated differently. This discrimination may result in poor self-esteem and possibly even depression. Every day, more than 40% of kids watch two or more hours of television—this could be a source of the rising obesity rates in children.

30. The percentage of children under 5 who are overweight increased from 4.8% to 6.2% between 1990 and 2015.


In the case of young children, the obesity statistics from 2015 show an increased prevalence of the overweight epidemic. This data was retrieved from a joint report by the WHO, the World Bank Group, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). In 2014, the world had 41 million children age 5 and younger who were overweight, about 10 million more than 1990’s numbers.

31. About 15.4% of children in Germany aged 3–17 are overweight or obese.


In Germany, the obesity rate among children is reportedly high at 15.4%. However, the rate isn’t increasing—it’s similar to values recorded over 10 years ago. Although the rates related to those who are obese or overweight are at an all-time high, scientists found it a positive factor that the trend’s upward movement has stopped. Also, they claim that because the levels remain so high, there’s no allowance for complacency. 

32. BMI is heritable at rates of 25%–40%.


One of the major childhood obesity causes come down to genetics. Some research has discovered that less than 5% of the cases of obesity in childhood account for the genetic factor. Thus, while genetics may be a factor in developing obesity, it is definitely not the root cause of the drastic increase in childhood obesity.

33. Obesity statistics from 2017 show just 22.4% of girls and 29.4% of boys in Germany exercise the amount recommended by the WHO.


As suggested by the World Health Organization, everyone should exercise for at least 60 minutes per day. However, a low percentage of Germany’s youth meets the required levels. Again, a family’s socioeconomic status can play a role in childhood obesity – the facts show that children are significantly less active in sports when they come from socially disadvantaged families.


Obesity Statistics - Donuts

When society concentrates on the causes, the rising problem of obesity can be slowed down. Many elements play into obesity, some of which are more important than others. To combat the rise in obesity, education and awareness that stresses physical activity and a healthy diet is vital, especially for children and older adults. As these obesity statistics show, the obesity rates are rising, and proper intervention is required to reduce its prevalence.

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