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Adult obesity rates in the U.S. by ethnicity 2019

In 2019, black adults had the highest obesity rates of any race or ethnicity in the United States, followed by American Indians/Alaska Natives and Hispanics. As of that time, around 40 percent of all black adults were obese. Asians/Pacific Islanders had by far the lowest obesity rates.


Obesity is a present and growing problem in the United States. An astonishing 31 percent of the adult population in the U.S. is now considered obese, a substantial increase from 19 percent of adults in 1997. Obesity rates can vary substantially by state, with around 38 percent of the adult population in West Virginia reportedly obese, compared to 23 percent of adults in Colorado. The states with the highest rates of obesity include West Virginia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Iowa.


Being overweight and obese can lead to a number of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Being overweight or obese is one of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body does not use insulin properly, causing blood sugar levels to rise. It is estimated that just over 10 percent of adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for three percent of all deaths.

Obesity rates for adults in the United States in 2019, by ethnicity

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Release date

November 2020


United States

Survey time period


Number of respondents

Approximately 350,000

Age group

18 years and older

Supplementary notes

Data represent adults who reported having a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25.0 kg/meters squared. Racial/ethnic groups are mutually exclusive. Percentages are weighted to reflect population characteristics. Data based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an ongoing, state-based, random-digit-dialed telephone survey of non-institutionalized civilian adults aged 18 years and older.

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Statistics on "Racial and ethnic health disparities in the U.S. "

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