CDC: Too many adults are overweight, out-of-shape

60% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, per new report

Topics: Behavioral Health, Service Lines, Access to Care, Quality, Performance Improvement, Mortality

May 24, 2013

Many U.S. adults continue to take part in unhealthy behaviors—such as smoking, heavy drinking, and sedentary lifestyles—that have kept the country's overall health from improving, according to a CDC report released this week.

The findings are based on nearly 77,000 interviews conducted from 2008 to 2010. The report noted that about 60% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. It also found that:

  • 80% of U.S. adults do not meet federal recommendations for aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercise;
  • 60% drink alcohol, including an increased number who said they have consumed five or more drinks in one day over the previous year;
  • One-third are completely inactive during their leisure time; and
  • 20% smoke, with fewer than half attempting to quit within the past year.

Such behaviors could lead to increased rates of chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, according to CDC.

Rich Hamburg—deputy director at Trust for America's Health—noted that only seven states have obesity or overweight rates below 60%. "If we can lower obesity trends by a small amount, say 5% in each state, we could save millions of American[s] from health problem[s] and save billions of dollars in health spending," Hamburg said (Thompson, HealthDay/Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/21).

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