NHANES: Obesity Prevalence and BMI Trends Among US Adults, 2009-2010

Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Ogden CL. Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass index among US adults, 1999-2010.
JAMA. 2012;307(5):491-497. 

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a nationally representative sample of US civilian noninstituationalized population. The survey has run continuously since 1999, with data released in 2-year cycles.  

This NHANES analysis estimated obesity prevalence among adults aged ≥20 from 2009-2010 and examined trends since 1999 using data from 2-year cycles.  

  • NHANES 2009-2010: N=2,889 men and N=3,037 nonpregnant women  
  • NHANES 1988-2008: N=22,847 men and women  

Weight and height were measured using standardized techniques and equipment; overweight was considered BMI 25.0-29.0 kg/m2 and obese was considered BMI ≥30 kg/m2. Obesity was further stratified as grade 1 (BMI 30-<35 kg/m2), grade 2 (BMI 35-<40 kg/m2), and grade 3 (BMI ≥40 kg/m2). Age was based on age at interview; subjects were grouped into the following categories: 20-39 years, 40-59 years, ≥60 years. Race and ethnicity were self-reported.  

Based on NHANES data from 2009-2010, the age-adjusted* prevalence of obesity was as follows:  

US men aged ≥20 years by ethnic group  

  • All race/ethnicity groups (also includes race/ethnicity groups not shown separately): 35.5% (95% CI, 31.9-39.2)  
  • Non-Hispanic White: 36.2% (95% CI, 31.8-40.8)  
  • Non-Hispanic Black: 38.8% (95% CI, 33.9-43.9)  
  • Hispanic (includes Mexican American participants): 37.0% (95% CI, 32.5-41.7)  
  • Mexican American: 36.6% (95% CI, 31.7-41.8)  

US women aged ≥20 years by ethnic group  

  • All race/ethnicity groups (also includes race/ethnicity groups not shown separately): 35.8% (95% CI, 34.0-37.7)  
  • Non-Hispanic White: 32.2% (95% CI, 29.2-35.3)  
  • Non-Hispanic Black: 58.5% (95% CI, 52.4-64.3)  
  • Hispanic (includes Mexican American participants): 41.4% (95% CI, 37.4-45.6)  
  • Mexican American: 44.9% (95% CI, 41.5-48.3)  

Overall prevalence among men and women was 35.7% (95% CI, 33.8-37.7) and did not differ significantly between groups (P=0.86).  

Based on NHANES data from 2009-2010, the age-adjusted* combined prevalence of obesity and overweight was as follows:  

US men aged ≥20 years by ethnic group  

  • All race/ethnicity groups (also includes race/ethnicity groups not shown separately): 73.9% (95% CI, 70.0-77.5)  
  • Non-Hispanic White: 74.0% (95% CI, 69.2-78.3)  
  • Non-Hispanic Black: 69.9% (95% CI, 66.4-73.3)  
  • Hispanic (includes Mexican American participants): 81.7% (95% CI, 77.8-85.0)  
  • Mexican American: 82.4% (95% CI, 77.6-86.4)  

US women aged ≥20 years by ethnic group  

  • All race/ethnicity groups (also includes race/ethnicity groups not shown separately): 63.7% (95% CI, 60.9-66.4)  
  • Non-Hispanic White: 59.5% (95% CI, 55.5-63.3)  
  • Non-Hispanic Black: 82.1% (95% CI, 77.9-85.6)  
  • Hispanic (includes Mexican American participants): 75.7% (95% CI, 72.6-78.6)  
  • Mexican American: 79.8% (95% CI, 76.9-82.4)  

Overall prevalence among men and women was 68.8% (95% CI, 65.9-71.5).  

Based on NHANES data from 2009-2010, the age-adjusted* obesity and overweight prevalence stratified by BMI and race-ethnicity among US adults aged ≥20 years was as follows:  

  • BMI ≥25 kg/m2 –  
    • All race/ethnicity groups (also includes race/ethnicity groups not shown separately): 68.8% (95% CI, 65.9-71.5)  
    • Non-Hispanic White: 66.7% (95% CI, 63.1-70.2)  
    • Non-Hispanic Black: 76.7% (95% CI, 73.3-79.7)  
    • Hispanic (includes Mexican American participants): 78.8% (95% CI, 76.2-81.3)  
    • Mexican American: 81.2% (95% CI, 78.0-84.1)  
  • BMI ≥30 kg/m2
    • All race/ethnicity groups (also includes race/ethnicity groups not shown separately): 35.7% (95% CI, 33.8-37.7)  
    • Non-Hispanic White: 34.3% (95% CI, 31.8-36.8)  
    • Non-Hispanic Black: 49.5% (95% CI, 44.7-54.5)  
    • Hispanic (includes Mexican American participants): 39.1% (95% CI, 35.2-43.1)  
    • Mexican American: 40.4% (95% CI, 36.6-44.3)  
     
  • BMI ≥35 kg/m2
    • All race/ethnicity groups (also includes race/ethnicity groups not shown separately): 15.4% (95% CI, 14.3-16.5)  
    • Non-Hispanic White: 14.4% (95% CI, 13.2-15.7)  
    • Non-Hispanic Black: 26.0% (95% CI, 23.6-28.5)  
    • Hispanic (includes Mexican American participants): 14.9% (95% CI, 13.0-17.0)  
    • Mexican American: 14.9% (95% CI, 12.9-17.2)  
     
  • BMI ≥40 kg/m2
    • All race/ethnicity groups (also includes race/ethnicity groups not shown separately): 6.3% (95% CI, 5.8-6.8)  
    • Non-Hispanic White: 5.7% (95% CI, 5.0-6.5)  
    • Non-Hispanic Black: 13.1% (95% CI, 11.3-15.1)  
    • Hispanic (includes Mexican American participants): 5.0% (95% CI, 4.0-6.2)  
    • Mexican American: 5.4% (95% CI, 4.1-7.2)  
     

Obesity trends seen among US adults aged ≥20 years in NHANES from 1999-2010 were as follows:  

  • Gender: significant increases over 1999-2000 seen for men (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06); no significant trends seen for women  
  • Race/ethnicity: significant increases seen for non-Hispanic black women (P=0.04) and Mexican American women (P=0.046)  

BMI trends seen among US adults aged ≥20 years in NHANES were as follows:  

  • Median BMI 1999-2000 – Men: 26.8 kg/m2 (IQR, 24.1-30.3); women: 26.8 kg/m2 (IQR, 23.2-32.1)  
  • Median BMI 2009-2010 – Men: 27.8 kg/m2 (IQR, 24.7-31.7); women: 27.3 kg/m2 (IQR, 23.3-32.7)  

*Adjusted by direct method to year 2000 Census population using age groups 20-39 years, 40-59 years, and ≥60 years  

 

August 2012  

 This overview was created by KnowledgePoint360 Group, LLC, and was not associated with funding via an educational grant or a promotional/commercial interest. 

Related content: 

Overview: NHANES: Obesity Prevalence and BMI Trends Among US Children and Adolescents  

NHANES: Obesity Prevalence and BMI Trends Among US Adults  

NHANES: Age-Adjusted* Obesity† Prevalence Among US Adults Aged ≥20 Years, 2009-2010  

NHANES: Age-Adjusted* Obesity† Prevalence Among US Men Aged ≥20 Years by Race/Ethnicity, 2009-2010  

NHANES: Age-Adjusted* Obesity† Prevalence Among US Women Aged ≥20 Years by Race/Ethnicity, 2009-2010  

NHANES: Age-Adjusted* Combined Obesity and Overweight† Prevalence Among US Adults Aged ≥20 Years, 2009-2010  

NHANES: Age-Adjusted* Combined Obesity and Overweight† Prevalence Among US Men Aged ≥20 Years by Race/Ethnicity, 2009-2010  

NHANES: Age-Adjusted* Combined Obesity and Overweight† Prevalence Among US Women Aged ≥20 Years by Race/Ethnicity, 2009-2010  

NHANES: Age-Adjusted* Obesity and Overweight† Prevalence Stratified by BMI and Race/Ethnicity Among US Adults Aged ≥20 Years, 2009-2010  

NHANES: Obesity and BMI Trends Among US Adults Aged ≥20 Years, 1999-2010  

Last Modified: 3/23/2015