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U.S. obesity rate climbs to record high in 2015

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Staff writer ▼ | February 13, 2016
The obesity rate among U.S. adults in 2015 climbed to a new high of 28.0%, up 2.5 percentage points since 2008.
Too much food   Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index
This represents an increase of about 6.1 million U.S. adults who are obese.

These results are based on more than 175,000 interviews conducted each year from 2013 to 2015 and more than 350,000 interviews conducted each year from 2008 to 2012 as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Unlike some government estimates of obesity, the Well-Being Index uses respondents' self-reported height and weight to calculate body mass index (BMI). It does not involve in-home clinical measurements that typically result in higher obesity estimates.

In addition to the 28.0% who are obese, another 35.6% of adults are classified as overweight, with 34.6% normal weight and 1.8% underweight, as reported in 2015.

As with obesity, diabetes generally has trended upward since 2008. The rates of both conditions declined slightly in 2011, only to see annual upticks in the years since.

The obesity and diabetes trends typically parallel each other given the close relationship between the two health conditions, but are not always in lockstep.

In 2015, 11.4% of Americans reported having been diagnosed with diabetes, unchanged from 2014. This equates to about 27.9 million adults living with diabetes.