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Obesity - prevalence in selected countries by gender 2019

In 2018, over 30 percent of both male and female adults in the United States were classified as obese, making it the country with the highest percentage of obese adults on this list. Other selected countries on the list with a high prevalence of obesity among adults included Iceland and Russia.

Obesity groups in the United States

In 2018, black adults had the highest overweight and obesity rates of any ethnicity in the United States, however, American Indians/Alaska Natives and Hispanics came in a close second and third. Asians and Pacific Islanders had the lowest rates by far, with roughly 45 percent. In 2019, about 28.5 percent of people aged 65 and older were obese in the United States. This estimate has been steadily increasing since 2013 when roughly 25 percent of elderly Americans were obese.

Leading health problems worldwide

Obesity was considered one of 2018’s biggest health problems: 33 percent of adults worldwide stated that obesity was the biggest health issue for people within their country, making it the second most worrying issue. Over half of adults stated that cancer was the most significant problem facing their country.

Prevalence of obesity among adults in selected countries as of 2019, or latest year available, by gender*

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Self-reported obesity. According to WHO classification, adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30 are overweight, a BMI of over 30 is classed as obese. BMI is calculated as follows:
Weight (kg)/height (m)²

Release date represents date figures were accessed.

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Statistics on "Obesity and overweight"

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