How U.S. college students described their weight as of fall 2019

In the fall of 2019, just over fifty percent of U.S. college students described their weight as “about the right weight”. Around nine percent of respondents stated that they were slightly underweight, while almost a third described themselves as slightly overweight.

Overweight and obesity in select states

American adults in states, such as Colorado, Hawaii, and California, struggled the least with obesity in 2018, however, the share of adults who are either obese or overweight in these states remains high. In Colorado, roughly 57 percent of white adults were either overweight or obese. The ethnic group within this state with the highest rate of weight problems in 2018 was the Hispanic population, with approximately 70 percent being above average weight. 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 68 percent. Lastly, over seven out of ten black and Hispanic Californians were overweight or obese. However, around 45 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 2019

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Release date

March 2020


United States

Survey time period

Fall 2019

Number of respondents

38,540 students

Age group

18 years and older

Special properties

58 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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