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Who Is at Risk for Overweight and Obesity?

Overweight and obesity affect Americans of all ages, sexes, and racial/ethnic groups. This serious health problem has been growing over the last 30 years.

Adults

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009–2010, almost 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. The survey also shows differences in overweight and obesity among racial/ethnic groups.

  • In women, overweight and obesity are highest among non-Hispanic Black women (about 82 percent), compared with about 76 percent for Hispanic women and 64 percent for non-Hispanic White women.
  • In men, overweight and obesity are highest among Hispanic men (about 82 percent), compared with about 74 percent for non-Hispanic White men and about 70 percent for non-Hispanic Black men.

Children and Teens

Children also have become heavier. In the past 30 years, obesity has tripled among school-aged children and teens.

According to NHANES 2009–2010, about 1 in 6 American children ages 2–19 are obese. The survey also suggests that overweight and obesity are having a greater effect on minority groups, including Blacks and Hispanics.

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Overweight and Obesity Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Overweight and Obesity, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.


Overweight and Obesity in the News

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NIH and the Children's Museum of Manhattan launch innovative program to help families create healthier futures
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NHLBI Research Featured in HBO Documentary Series on Obesity



Hear people talk about their challenges and successes reaching and maintaining a healthy weight on the HBO Documentary Films series, “The Weight of the Nation,” which premiered in May 2012.

The film series spotlights the science behind obesity and how it affects the health of the nation. Watch the series to learn how citizens, groups, and policymakers are working to make a difference in their communities. The films stream free on the HBO Web site.

To learn more about the film series and related public awareness campaign, including how to host a local screening go to www.nih.gov/health/
NIHandweightofthenation
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July 13, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.

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