Posted on January 15, 2014

The Thinnest Americans Are Asian Americans, CDC Data Show

Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, January 15, 2014


New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that 38.6% of Asian American adults have a body mass index over 25, the threshold for being considered overweight. That’s far below the 66.7% rate among whites, 76.7% rate among blacks and 78.8% rate among Latinos.

Some Asian American adults are more likely to be overweight than others. For instance, 43% of men have a BMI over 25, compared with 34.7% of women. In addition, the prevalence of overweight adults is nearly 1.5 times higher among adults who are at least 40 years old than it is among those between the ages of 20 and 39, the data show.

The figures are based on physical measurements of Asian American volunteers who participated in the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2011 and 2012. During those years, researchers recruited extra Asian Americans for the long-running study in order to bolster the “scarcity of health information” about this minority group, according to the new report, released Wednesday.


Asian Americans tend to be younger than white Americans, with 43.6% of the population between the ages of 20 and 39 and 19.3% past their 60th birthday, compared with 31.4% and 30% for whites, the data show.