How U.S. college students described their weight as of fall 2018

In the fall of 2018, just over fifty percent of U.S. college students described their weight as “about the right weight”. Close to ten percent of the respondents stated that they were slightly underweight, while about a third described themselves slightly overweight.

Overweight and obesity in selected states

American adults in states, such as Colorado, Hawaii, and California, struggled the least with obesity in 2018. However, when overweight was included in the equation for these states in 2017, the percentages were significantly higher.

In Colorado, roughly 56 percent of white adults were either overweight or obese. The ethnic group within this state with the highest rate of weight problems in 2017 was the black population, with approximately 70 percent being above average weight. Just over half of that year’s white and Asian/Pacific Island adults living on the Hawaiian archipelago were overweight, while its Hispanic population reached a rate of about 69 percent. Lastly, over seven out of ten black and Hispanic Californians were overweight. However, just under forty percent of Asians and Pacific Islanders from this state were above a normal weight during the measured period.

Percentage of U.S. college students that described themselves as underweight or overweight as of fall 2018

Percentage of respondents
Very underweight0.8%
Slightly underweight9.4%
About the right weight52.7%
Slightly overweight31.4%
Very overweight5.6%
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Release date

January 2019


United States

Survey time period

Fall 2018

Number of respondents

26,181 students

Age group

18 years and older

Special properties

40 schools

Supplementary notes

Original question: "How would you describe your weight?"

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Statistics on "College student health in the U.S."

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