Slightly Fewer Americans Obese in 2011

Elizabeth Mendes, Gallup, January 10, 2012

Slightly fewer American adults were obese in 2011 (26.1%) than in 2010 (26.6%) and 2009 (26.5%). This decline was largely offset by a slight increase in the percentage of Americans reporting a normal weight—increasing to 36.1% last year from 35.4% in 2010—while the percentage overweight, but not obese, showed less change.

Gallup has tracked Americans’ weight status since 2008. Over this period, the total percentage overweight or obese rose from 62.2% in 2008 to 63.1% in 2009. It has since declined slightly each year to 62.9% in 2010 and to 62.1% in 2011.

The 2011 data encompass more than 300,000 surveys of American adults. {snip}


The percentage of Americans who were obese in all major demographic and socio-economic groups either declined slightly or stayed the same in 2011 compared with 2010. Blacks, low-income Americans, and those aged 45 to 64 were still the most likely to be obese in 2011, as they have been in past years, with more than 3 in 10 in each group weighing enough to be considered obese. {snip}



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  • Sincerely Concerned

    It’s obvious that income has a lot to do with weight.  Sadly, healthy food is much more expensive than junk food.  That said, if a person is on food stamps, which enables one to buy food for free, it’s just a matter of shopping the perimeter of a grocery store.  The perimeter contains all the fresh food: dairy, produce, meats, and breads.  Anything you buy there can be supplemented with inexpensive side dishes such as instant potatoes, rice, and pasta to make meals stretch further.  It’s the poorer person’s reliance on fast food, salty food, and sugary beverages and snack cakes that make him fat.  And as I’ve shown, it’s entirely avoidable.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry but it is not about money it is about intelligence. When one only has a little bit of money with which to buy food you think and plan carefully. Cheap or on sale protein (peanut butter, chicken on sale, eggs), inexpensive grain products (pasta and whole grains), and frozen vegetables.  When one does not have a lot of money but they have brains they do NOT grab the chips, go to McDonald’s, or waste what little they have on soda pop.

  • Anonymous

    Hunter gatherer people (i.e. blacks) have problems when dealing with a high carb diet as is found in agricultural (civilized) societies;  hence obesity and diabetes and such.  From what I have read they produce a lot of insulin when eating, which works well when one has sporadic meals and has to maximize the food when offered, but does not work well when they are snacking on chips, ice cream, and fried chicken 5 times a day.

    Now a sensible government would suggest special dietary plans based on race; regardless I think we can all be grateful many of the obese black women can’t move fast enough to effectively launch a physical assault on unaware victims, though Lordy if they do get a hold of you….

  • Anonymous

    When you read about ‘the epidemic of obesity in America’, know that blacks and Hispanics are the ones who are mostly obese.

    Of course, they try to hide this fact from us because they want us to believe we’re all responsible for this ‘epidemic’ and that we all need to pay for the programs to combat this problem.

  • Anonymous

    Another illustration of how you have to take “Americans are….” statisitics with a more than a grain of salt. Numbers related to health or other things like educational achievement (or lack thereof…) or crime (ESPECIALLY crime) are always skewed by the more, um, diverse elements of our society.  There’s a reason why places like North Dakota, Wyoming and Utah are outliers in a lot of these lists.

  • Anonymous

    Not all of obesity is based entirely on food. The amount of activity in one’s daily life has as nearly as much bearing on your weight and overall health as how much you eat. For instance, a group of people who consumes 3,000 calories a day and gets up off their butts and moves much of the day will weigh less than those who sit around consuming those 3,000 calories watching tv or playing with their cell phone all day.

  • Anonymous

    We’re a family of three on one income and I buy natural, organic stuff and grass-fed meats whenever possible.  Sure, I can’t buy *as much* but at least I’ve stopped getting colds, and my son doesn’t appear to have an allergic reaction to his grandmother’s cat anymore.  People are told to look at calorie count.  Calories do not matter.  What matters is what they put in the stuff.  If you find yourself reading a novel when you look at ingredients, and/or if there are things in there you can’t pronounce–put it back on the shelf.  Sure, it costs $5 for a loaf of the kind of bread I get for my son’s school lunches, but it costs $5 for a combo meal at McDonald’s.

    Seems that the kind of people who are overweight are the kind that are not patient enough or can’t plan ahead enough to prepare their own meals.  It’s all about instant gratification, and the lack of foresight with some people means that they don’t consider that if they eat all this garbage, they’re going to get sick…and then their hand is out for help with medical bills.  And to top it off they want to Blame Whitey for their woes.

    Admittedly I’m overweight myself but since I’ve been making these changes, the weight has been coming off fairly quickly.  When grocery shopping I plan ahead and think about what I’m going to make for dinner each night that coming week.

  • I think the age group 18-29 having the least obesity percentages is reflected especially on college campuses, where most people take care of their bodies since they want to keep themselves attractive and face peer pressure. Once people are married and out of college, there is less incentive to maintain a model figure.

    • Not only is there less incentive, there is less time to work out.  Plus, once you pass 30, certain things start happening to your body (don’t remind me), which makes it harder to maintain a healthy slim appearance.

  • Anonymous

    But this just isn’t true. Even if we assume for a minute that healthier food costs more than less healthy food (and it doesn’t, not necessarily) it follows that those who are obese could simply eat LESS of the their unhealthy food. Weight gain and loss comes down to calories in, calories out. It can’t possibly cost them more to buy less food. 
    I think the reason that the poor are more likely to be obese is less that the poor can afford healthy food/exercise as that poverty and intelligence are inversely correlated. We know that the poor on average have lower IQs, which correlates strongly with lower conscientousness, shame, and future time orientation. I think the issue, then, is that the poor are simply less concerned with becoming obese, being more motivated by the instant gratification of junk food.