(HealthDay News) — About 35% of men and 37% of women are obese, while 40% of men and 30% of women are overweight, according to a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Lin Yang, PhD, and Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey gathered between 2007 and 2012, involving 15,208 men and women aged 25 years and older.

Based on the data, the researchers estimate that more than 36 million men and nearly 29 million women in the United States are currently overweight. About 32 million men and 36 million women are obese

More Americans are overweight and obese today compared with federal survey data gathered between 1988 and 1994, Yang told HealthDay. Back then, 63% of men and 55% of women were either overweight or obese, with a BMI of 25 or greater. Today, around 75% of men and about 67% of women are either overweight or obese, according to the study.

“This generation of Americans is the first that will have a shorter life expectancy than the previous generation, and obesity is one of the biggest contributors to this shortened life expectancy because it is driving a lot of chronic health conditions,” Yang said.


  1. Yang L, Colditz GA. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;doi:doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.2405.