About eight in 10 (78%) US adults are overweight, according to results of an April 2011 Harris Poll. In addition, about one in five (18%) smoke cigarettes.
Overweight, Obese Figures Fairly Consistent
The 78% of US adults who are overweight is consistent with the five-year average of 80% recorded from 2006-2010. In addition, the 38% of US adults who are obese (20% or more overweight) is relatively close to the 35% who were obese on average between 2006 and 2010.
BMI Shows Lower Overweight Figures
The above figures are based on MetLife tables based on height, weight and body frame. However, using the newer Body Mass Index (BMI), based on self-reported height and weight, only 63% of US adults are overweight (BMI of 25 or more) and 28% are obese (BMI of 30 or more). These figures have been fairly consistent since 2006, with an overall dip in 2008 (58% overweight and 23% obese). 2008 results were similar to those in 2005, when 59% of adults were overweight and 23% were obese.
Smoking Slowly But Steadily Drops
Cigarette smoking has shown a slow but steady decline since the three-year average of 1983-85, when 29% of adults smoked cigarettes. Cigarette usage shows an inverse trend to being overweight and obese, which have both steadily climbed in frequency since 1983-85 according to MetLife tables, when 59% of adults were overweight and 15% were obese.
Other Tobacco Usage Remains Minimal
Usage of tobacco products besides cigarettes, such as cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco, has consistently been low since 2006. In 2011, 2% of adults smoked a pipe, 4% smoked cigars and 3% chewed tobacco. Adding these products to cigarettes, the study finds 22% of adults use some form of tobacco.
Gallup: More than 1 in 5 Metro Adults Obese
More than 20% of Americans were obese in 174 of the 188 US metropolitan areas that the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed in 2010. In the most obese of these metro areas, Evansville, IN-KY, 37.8% of residents were obese, compared with 12.9% in the least obese place, Boulder, CO.
About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted by telephone and online, within the US between April 11 and 18, 2011 among a nationwide cross section of 1,987 adults (aged 18 and older).