Being overweight and obese has been a serious health concern in the United States in recent years. In this case, the terms children and adolescents mean anyone from the age of 2 up to the age of 19. Obesity and being overweight have become more common problems for American children and adolescents since the National Health Center for Health Statistics survey began on the subject in 1963. As far as being overweight goes, approximately 10 percent of American adolescents and children were overweight when studies began in 1971. This number increased to its highest point in 2003-2004 when 16.6 percent of American children and adolescents in the study were overweight.
In more recent years, that number has sometimes declined a bit, but it has not declined significantly. In fact, the percentage of overweight American adolescents and children in the study almost reached its highest point again, landing at 16.4 percent. However, as recently stated, the percentage of overweight American children and adolescents has declined somewhat. The most recent percentage of overweight American children and adolescents is from 2017-2018 and that percentage was 14.7 percent. The percentage has varied between 14 and 16 percent since 1999-2000, with 14.2 percent being the lowest percentage and that percentage of overweight American children and adolescents was from 2001-2002.
Being Overweight Is More Common in Female American Children and Adolescents
The percentages of overweight American children and adolescents do not remain the same when you compare male children and adolescents to female children and adolescents. For male children and adolescents, the most recent percentages indicate that 14.7% of American male children and adolescents are overweight. This percentage is from 2017-2018, the latest years for which these percentages are available.
However, the most recent percentage for overweight American female children and adolescents is 17.6 percent. Just as with the percentages for overweight American male children and adolescents, these numbers have remained fairly consistent since 2015. There was a significant increase in the percentage of overweight American female children and adolescents from the 2013-2014 percentages to the 2014-2015 percentages. In 2013-2014, the percentage was 16.0 percent, but this increased to 17.6 percent in 2015-2016.
More American Adult Men Are Overweight Than American Adult Women
Despite the findings among American children and adolescents, the situation is quite different when you compare the percentages of overweight adult American men and overweight adult American women. This is important to note when discussing what percent of Americans are overweight. The most recent percentages for overweight American adult men show that 30.3 percent of American men are overweight. These numbers are from the 2017-2018 survey. This percentage has remained between 34 and 41 percent since the National Health Examination Survey was first conducted from 1960-1962.
For adult American women, the percentages haven't varied too much since 1960, either. However, the last time that the percentage of overweight American adult women decreased was 2013-2014. In 2013-2014, the percentage of overweight American women decreased to 25.8 percent, down from 29.5 percent in 2011-2012. The most recent percentage for overweight American women comes from the 2017-2018 survey and that survey indicates that 26.9 percent of American adult women are overweight.