Context Obesity and diabetes are increasing in the United States.
Objective To estimate the prevalence of obesity and diabetes among US adults in
Design, Setting, and Participants Random-digit telephone survey of 195 005 adults aged 18 years or
older residing in all states participating in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
System in 2001.
Main Outcome Measures Body mass index, based on self-reported weight and height and self-reported
Results In 2001 the prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥30) was 20.9% vs 19.8% in
2000, an increase of 5.6%. The prevalence of diabetes increased to 7.9% vs
7.3% in 2000, an increase of 8.2%. The prevalence of BMI of 40 or higher in
2001 was 2.3%. Overweight and obesity were significantly associated with diabetes,
high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis, and poor health
status. Compared with adults with normal weight, adults with a BMI of 40 or
higher had an odds ratio (OR) of 7.37 (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.39-8.50)
for diagnosed diabetes, 6.38 (95% CI, 5.67-7.17) for high blood pressure,
1.88 (95% CI,1.67-2.13) for high cholesterol levels, 2.72 (95% CI, 2.38-3.12)
for asthma, 4.41 (95% CI, 3.91-4.97) for arthritis, and 4.19 (95% CI, 3.68-4.76)
for fair or poor health.
Conclusions Increases in obesity and diabetes among US adults continue in both sexes,
all ages, all races, all educational levels, and all smoking levels. Obesity
is strongly associated with several major health risk factors.